Why Ca-Sil 50 (Calcium Silicate) should be part of your IPM?
1. When silicon is present in leaf tissue the concentration of sodium in the leaf tissue is decreased by up to 50%.
2. The absorption of silicon does not reduce manganese uptake, but causes homogenous distribution of manganese in the leaf blade.
3. Silicon displaces water in plant tissue as desiccation occurs in leaf tissue thereby increasing the plants strength in dry conditions.
4. Deposited silicon in the plant tissue prevents physical penetration by some insects and/or makes plant cells less susceptible to enzymatic degradation by fungal pathogens.
5. Aluminum toxicity can be a major factor limiting crop production in acid soils. Ionic Al inhibits root growth and nutrient uptake. The toxic Al is found to be decreased by the addition of silicon in the tissue forming a non-toxic Al-Si complexes.
6. Structural functions of silicon include compression resistance in cell walls which increases traffic resistance. Physiological functions with increased silicon in tissue include reduction in evapotranspiration rates and increases in oxygen supply by strengthening air canal walls which helps plants breath in water logged soils.
Advantages of using Ca-Sil 50?
1. Enhancement of growth and yield.
2. Promotion of upright stature and resistance to lodging.
3. Role in favorable exposure of leaves to sunlight.
4. Protection against temperature extremes.
5. Resistance to metal toxicities.
6. Resistance to salinity stress.
7. Reduction of drought stress.
8. Resistance to plant diseases.
What Are the Desired Levels of Silicon in Tissue and Soil Tests?
To help determine if the proper levels of silicon have been reached following the application of calcium silicate, measure by either tissue or soil sampling. In tissue tests the desired percentage of Si in leaf tissue should be .80% to 1.0% by weight. In soil tests, Si content should be 2.27 kgs per acre.
Application Rate :
1. IRRI research indicates that Silicon deficiency can be rectified by the application of Calcium silicate at the rate of 120-200 kg per hectare. As rice leaf and stem generally contain 5-6% (ranges from 2-10%) Silicon, and rice husk contains 10%, thus returning the crop residues back to the soil will help to replenish Silicon in the soil. The most suitable time of silicon application in rice is about 60 days before harvesting.