Calcium aid trial seeks to defeat bitter pit

A trial involving calcium aid CaT InCa and Bramley apples will be carried out by Norman Collett technical director Nigel Jenner this season.

Following similar studies in Japan and the US, he is expecting a substantial improvement in bitter-pit control with the use of Plant Impact's latest product development. CaT InCa helps plants to use calcium more efficiently at times of extreme temperature conditions, when flow is normally reduced. Unlike traditional calcium fertilisers, it aids the transport and transfer of the mineral, improving the mobility and distribution of the calcium content within the plant and fruit.

The plant health technology business claims that new modes of action and technology are providing improvements in the performance of its products compared with conventional means.

The Preston-based company, launched five years ago, has developed a range of products designed to counter the stress caused by factors such as excessively high temperatures and drought.

Plant Impact joint commercial director Mark Horner said its CaT InCa product is arguably the company's most important plant nutrition product for fruit growers.

Horner added: "When plants are under stress, particularly the kind caused by drought, calcium is preferentially moved to the parts losing the most water.

"This results in calcium deficiency in the fruit, which can lead to problems like bitter pit and other storage disorders."

He added that conventional calcium products such as calcium chloride are not readily absorbed by fruit, failing to penetrate the flesh where it's most wanted despite the frequent application of these products throughout fruit development.

CaT InCa contains five per cent calcium nitrate and one per cent zinc chelate and requires fewer treatments than conventional calcium products.


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