Thursday, March 21, 2013
"Calcium nitrate, also called Norgessalpeter (Norwegian saltpeter), is the inorganic compound with the formula Ca(NO3)2. This colorless salt absorbs moisture from the air and is commonly found as a tetrahydrate. It is mainly used as a component in fertilizers but has other applications. Nitro-calcite is the name for a mineral which is a hydrated calcium nitrate that forms as an efflorescence where manure contacts concrete or limestone in a dry environment as in stables or caverns. A variety of related salts are known including calcium ammonium nitrate decahydrate and calcium potassium nitrate decahydrate."
Calcium nitrate is used as a fertilizer, typically for fruits and vegetables. It's hard to find at your local supplier unless they supply large fruit and vegetable growers. It can be dry or liquid. Let's discuss the dry formulation first. It is usually sold as 15-0-0-19Ca or something similar. Ca(N03)2 Calcium nitrate Ca2+ NO3’. It has 2 Ca cations and 3 Nitrate anions. This California curriculum discusses basic fertilizers for the farmer like I've seen nowhere else. Another reference is the Western Fertilizer Handbook.
"Calcium nitrate, chemically known as ammonium calcium nitrate decahydrate (5Ca(NO3)2*NH4NO3*10H2O), is a white, hygroscopic, dry water-soluble material. It is 15.5% nitrogen and 19% calcium (15.5-0-0-19Ca). It is produced by reacting nitric acid with crushed phosphate ore and then neutralized with ammonia.
It is considered a 'double growth' fertilizer, since both the calcium and the nitrate contribute to plant growth. It is highly hygroscopic, and needs to be stored in a cool, dry location. Some formulations are coated to help retard moisture absorption during storage.
Compared to other nitrogen fertilizers such as urea or ammonium nitrate, it receives little attention. Many of the discussions I have heard about it originated from biological farmers, and they gave excellent reviews of its attributes. Several commented that using calcium nitrate, and calcium sulfate (SuperCal SO4 e.g.) together produced some great results."
Here is a common question this month:
"On AgTalk you where saying 5 gallon 28% mixed with 5 ATS, 5 Calcium Nitrate, and 5 water is a good mix. Why the water instead of 5 gallon more of 28? I was going to run 10gallon 28, 3 ATS, and 2 calcium nitrate. 14-15 gallon to the acre works well with adding 1 bag per row of seed at the same time as liquid filling. Should I back the 28 down and apply more of the other products? I applied 1 ton of gypsum last fall but want to run some ATS to give it a little boost. This is in NW Ohio clay soils.
Can calcium nitrate be ran through the Keetons and applied in furrow? If so I can run 6-7 gallon through there as well."
Answer is you can't put calcium nitrate through the Keetons or in furrow because the salt load is too high and will injure the seedlings. Should be applied off the side like the U trough principle and structured water to activate the loaded fertilizer, near the root zone, not in it.
What questions do you have? I am learning right beside you. To my casual readers, find some calcium nitrate and start experimenting on your precious plants. It is good fertilizer for fruits and vegetables.
It has huge implications on how we grow corn, soybeans and wheat.