Diagnosing calcium deficiency in barley
Calcium deficiency is occasionally seen in canola but is yet to be observed in cereals due to the widespread use of superphosphate. However with the increasing use of calcium-free fertilisers, deficiency is more likely to become an issue.
What to look for
- Sandier more acidic parts of the paddock will be most affected.
- Calcium deficient plants are very stunted with short stout stems and dark green foliage.
- Symptoms first appear first on the youngest leaf and gradually spread to older growth.
- Tips of new leaves die, turn grey or pale brown and become tightly rolled or twisted, usually hanging down from the end of the leaf.
- Base of affected leaves remains green but is very brittle and easily cracked or torn when bent.
- Plants are stunted with short stout stems and erect dark green leaves. The leaf tip often breaks off leaving squared ends to affected leaves.
- Reduced root growth.
What else could it be
|Diagnosing copper deficiency in barley||Tip twisting and death of the youngest leaf||Copper deficient plants have pale rather than dark leaves and white or rat-tail heads rather than few small heads|
Where does it occur?
- WA light lands are inherently low in calcium.
- Calcium deficiency is exacerbated in acidic, sandy soils with high soluble aluminium.
- Lime or gypsum are the cheapest sources of calcium.
How can it be monitored?
- Use whole-top plant test to diagnose suspected calcium deficiency.
- There is no locally calibrated soil test for calcium.
Where to go for expert help
Page last updated: Wednesday, 6 May 2015 - 3:20pm