Calcium nitrate, also called Norgessalpeter (Norwegian saltpeter), is the inorganic compound with the formula Ca(NO3)2. This colourless 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. Nitrocalcite 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. Use in agriculture
As of 1978, only 170,000 tons/year were produced for applications in fertilizers. The fertilizer grade (15.5-0-0 + 19% Ca) is popular in the greenhouse and hydroponics trades; it contains ammonium nitrate and water, as the "double salt" 5Ca(NO3)2.NH4NO3•10H2O. This is called calcium ammonium nitrate. Formulations lacking ammonia are also known: Ca(NO3)2•4H2O (11.9-0-0 + 16.9%Ca). A liquid formulation (9-0-0 + 11% Ca) is also offered. An anhydrous, air-stable derivative is the urea complex Ca(NO3)2•4[OC(NH2)2], which has been sold as Cal-Urea. Calcium nitrate is also used to control certain plant diseases. For example, dilute calcium nitrate (and calcium chloride) sprays are used to control bitter pit and cork spot in apple trees.
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