Boron is a micronutrient critical to the growth and health of all crops. It is a component of plant cell walls and reproductive structures. Boron can be found in soil solution, adsorbed to soil surfaces, organic matter, and is part of soil mineralogy. Boron is a mobile nutrient, meaning that it is prone to movement within the soil.
In farming, little things can add up to make a big difference. This is certainly the case when it comes to balanced crop nutrition.
Soil sampling has adapted and evolved over time. As genetics, crop nutrition, equipment and precision ag technologies have matured, so has the need for more advanced soil sampling in the field.
The relationship between soil chemistry and nutrient uptake can fluctuate just as much as the weather from year to year.
Justus von Liebig, a 19th century German chemist, made great contributions to the science of plant nutrition and soil fertility. While Carl Sprengel, a German botanist, formulated the “theory of minimum,” Liebig investigated and popularized the scientific concept we know today as “Liebig’s Law of the Minimum.” This concept demonstrates that plant growth is not controlled by the total amount of available resources but by the scarcest.
The signs may mimic nitrogen deficiency — yellowing leaves, reduced yield — or there may not even be any overt signs. But make no mistake, unless you are feeding your crops sulfur, you are probably underfeeding them, according to crop nutrition experts.
As crop input suppliers and farmers walked corn and soybeans fields this season they may have noticed some telltale signs of nutrient deficiency.