Boron

Boron

Boron (B) is a plant essential micronutrient important for successful pollination and seed set and in maintaining strong and healthy plant stems.

Essential micronutrient required by plants in small quantities

Involved in pollination, seed set and cell wall structure

Deficiency symptoms include death of growing points and cupping of plant leaves

Its inability to bind to clay particles means it is vulnerable to leaching losses

Best applied to the soil at crop establishment to actively prevent boron deficiencies

Wolf Trax boron can be coated onto any one of Origins 13,000+ grades

Role

Plant

Boron is vital for the development and growth of new cells in the apical parts of the plant -  i.e. the root and shoot meristems or tips. 

It is also involved in cell wall formation and stability, providing plants with structure and reducing potential damage from pests and disease.

Sufficient boron is vital for successful pollination and seed set and is also required for effective nitrogen fixation in legume crops.

Brassicas and roots have a particularly high requirement for boron - namely sugar beet and oilseed rape

Behaviour

Soil

Boron is present in the soil solution in the form of boric acid (H3BO3) which is produced during weathering of certain soil minerals.

Unlike most other nutrients which require a positive or negative charge to be taken up by the plant, boric acid is taken up by the plant roots in its molecular form, along with soil water.

Because of the need for soil water, boron uptake is limited during periods of drought.

Soils with excessive levels of calcium can cause a reduction in boron availability.

Deficiency

Boron deficient plants have cupped leaves and die at growing points (E.g. tap root and shoot tips). 

Other symptoms include abortion of seed sites, poor fruit quality and hollow seeds. 

Boron deficiency in sugar beet presents as heart rot. Affected plants have black lesions at the top of the root. 

Where is the risk of deficiency highest?
  • Sandy soils 
  • Low organic matter soils
  • High pH
  • Dry conditions
  • Soils with excessive levels of calcium
Testing

A Broad Spectrum (BS) soil analysis can help determine the quantity of boron which is likely to be available for crop uptake and can be used to tailor fertiliser plans and to help prevent deficiencies within the season. 

Tissue testing is also useful to determine the boron concentration of the plant mid-season in order to compare against optimum levels. Although laboratory results may be available too late to correct the deficiency in the current crop, they can be useful for decisions on boron use for future crops.

Loss Pathways

Because boron moves through the soil with soil water, it is very vulnerable to leaching.

Once the soil is fully saturated, boron may leach into field drains or subsurface aquifers as drainage water moves through the soil.

The amount of winter rainfall has an important influence on the amount of boron leached.

Application
Right Product

Coating fertiliser granules with Wolf Trax boron means that there are around 50 more landing sites in comparison to the granular alternative, resulting in greater plant uptake.

Right Time

In arable situations, applying boron at crop establishment proactively prevents boron deficiency. 

Right Place

Applying boron to the foliage is often too late as plants have already lost yield potential. Applying boron to the soil during establishment means there is no 'hunger gap' and helps build soil boron reserves. 

Right Rate

Using a Wolf Trax boron coating means plant uptake is maximised and so only small rates of boron are required.

Contained Within...
FertiliserAnalysisFeatures
Wolf Trax boron0.02 – 0.1% B as requiredA dry dispersal powder which coats every granule of fertiliser. Contains both immediate and sustained release nutrition