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Calcium

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Symptoms of calcium deficiency are more pronounced and 
appear earlier in most plants than do those of other elements. 
Unlike the other nutrients whose deficiency symptoms first be- 
come clearly defined on stalks and leaves, the first signs of 
calcium deficiency are mirrored in lack of root growth. The 
small roots growing from the seed disintegrate. The seedling 
makes a tuft of leaves which at first appear greener than nor- 
mal. Eventually, they lose their color and the plant dies pre- 
maturely. Small additions of calcium to the nutrient solution 
have marked corrective effects. 

Because lack of calcium curtails root development, a higher 
ratio of leaves and stalk to total weight of plant is obtained. It 
is with lack of calcium and nitrogen that the greatest extremes 
in the ratio of roots to tops are obtained. The former produces 
the least and the latter the largest amount of roots in relation 
to leaves and stalks. 

Lack of calcium does not have such a pronounced harmful 
effect upon rice as it does on other crops. Rice requires little 
calcium for growth and contains only a small amount of it at 
maturity. The element seems to play some special part in the 
synthesis of proteins, for crops high in proteins are also high 
in calcium. 

Absorption of excess calcium, is possible under unfavorable 
cultural conditions. When these happen, the plants usually find 
it hard to avail themselves of iron but absorb nitrogen in larger 
quantities than are needed. For this reason a calcium excess may be found associated with conditions which cause the foliage 
to be either a lighter or a darker green than is normal. 

No species have yet been found which can reproduce from 
the amount of calcium contained in their seed alone, though 
there is a possibility that certain species of rice might. 

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