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Identifying Boron Deficiency in All Crops

Identifying Boron Deficiency in All Crops

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One of the micronutrients essential for crop health also happens to be one of the most deficient in agriculture: boron (B).

Boron is vital to plant health, as it is essential for cell wall formation and rapid growing points within the plant, such as reproductive structures. However, utilization of B is different among species. Most field crops, including corn, soybean, wheat, canola and alfalfa, cannot remobilize boron through the phloem, from old tissues to new tissues. Because deficiency symptoms in field crops are found in the newest growing tissue, these crops are very sensitive to even short-term deficiencies, which can occur rapidly. For that reason, B should continuously be available for uptake by the roots, and especially prior to flowering, as it is vital to the reproduction process.

Deficiency symptoms can vary across crop species, but similarities exist for how limited B availability impacts plant tissue color and appearance. Boron deficiency symptoms typically first develop in new plant tissue such as young leaves and reproductive structures. Some plants may lose their green color, called leaf chlorosis, but overall are generally hard to identify visually. For these reasons, the best strategy is to prevent deficiency with soil application of the micronutrient.

Aspire® with Boron is formulated with two forms of B, along with potassium, in every granule. Sodium borate releases quickly and is immediately available to the plant, while calcium borate releases more slowly over the course of the growing season. Two forms of boron ensure season-long availability, so crops can take up the nutrient at critical points throughout the growing season.