Features

Boost boron and calcium levels in late season brassicas

By: Tom Decamp

Late season vegetable brassica crops are susceptible to several quality issues which can reduce marketable yield. Boosting levels of calcium and boron in these crops via nutrition will prevent many of these quality issues and so can increase profitability.


Boost the boron and calcium levels in late season brassica crop
Boost the boron and calcium levels in late season brassica crop
Calcium and boron are both important for brassica quality

Boron has several key roles in plants which include cell wall biosynthesis, carbohydrate and protein metabolism, cell division/elongation and also root and shoot growing points. Boron is the only nutrient which, when in short supply, can accelerate physiological processes instead of reducing them and therefore abnormal growth can occur.

Glassines and tip burn on cauliflower
Boron deficiency: Hollow stem
Glassines and tip burn on cauliflower
Boron or calcium deficiency: Glassiness

Vegetable Brassicas require boron in quite large amounts where it helps control nutritional disorders such as tip burn and hollow heart. Find further information on the symptoms and causes of Boron Deficiency in Vegetable Brassicas.

Calcium deficiency is often seen in late season brassica including tip burn on cabbage or glassiness of cauliflower where sections of the curd may be brown or discoloured. This is directly related to a lack of calcium within the cell walls, meaning that they aren’t strong enough and when cell expansion takes place they collapse and necrosis occurs. Find further information on the symptoms and causes of Calcium Deficiency in Vegetable Brassicas.

Calcium deficiency: Tip burn on cabbage
Calcium deficiency: Tip burn on cabbage
Calcium deficiency: Tip burn on cauliflower
Calcium deficiency: Tip burn on cauliflower

 

Once calcium is incorporated into cell walls it can’t be redistributed therefore it is important to have sufficient supply as new cells develop. As mentioned already, calcium is integral to cell walls and give the cells, particularly the skin, strength. Therefore a sufficient supply will help ensure the crop has a good appearance as well as helping against both biotic and abiotic damage. 

Yara brassica trials have also highlighted the synergy between calcium and boron, improving the uptake of each nutrient and improving the control of associated disorders, not only in brassicas but also in other crops showing a response to calcium and boron such as potatoes.

Preventing quality issues increases marketable yield and profitability

Boosting levels of calcium and boron in brassica vegetable nutrition will prevent many of the quality issues, increasing marketable yield and so increasing profitability. Boron and calcium work together to improve plant strength by reinforcing cell walls so reducing the effects of nutritional disorders such as tip burn in cauliflower, hollow stems or internal browning.

YaraLiva NITRABOR contains a balanced combination of soluble nitrate nitrogen, calcium and boron that can be safely applied to green crops right up to harvest without fear of scorch to enhance both the quality and marketable yield of vegetable brassicas. There is also a synergistic effect whereby the uptake of nitrate, unlike ammonium forms of nitrogen, can increase the uptake of calcium.

Although we are now in the closed period for NVZs, applications to brassicas are still permitted. Applications of manufactured nitrogen fertilisers are allowed on vegetable brassica crops under NVZ regulations during closed periods up to a maximum of 100kgN (with 50kg max every 4 weeks).

Yara recommendations, to comply with NVZ regulations are to apply YaraLiva NITRABOR at up to 320kg/ha every four weeks up to harvest.

 

How crop nutrition affects vegetable brassicas

Browse the complete list of all the vegetable brassica articles to see how crop nutrition affects cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprout yield, quality, health or effect on the environment and see the roles of different nutrients.

Vegetable brassica agronomy and fertiliser advice
Vegetable brassica agronomy and fertiliser advice

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