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Boron is undoubtedly the best-known and most commonly applied trace element in the world, as deficiency can disrupt growth, fertility and disease resistance of crops. Over years of cultivation soils tend to become exhausted and depleted and require boron replenishment, especially for sensitive crops. Boron needs to be applied in carefully controlled doses, since excess is as detrimental as deficiency.
Boron is involved in the transformation of nitrate into amino acids, and improves the thickness and the resistance of cell membranes.
Boron plays a key role in the synthesis of carbohydrates and proteins; it is essential for plant cell and tissue growth.
Boron contributes to better fertility because it is involved in the formation of reproductive cells (pollen).
The plant absorbs boron as soluble boric hydroxide from the soil solution in proportion to the amount of water taken up by the plant. Thus, uptake depends on the amount of boron dissolved in the water, since it is absorbed passively. Due to limited transport of boron within the plant, the older leaves often accumulate more boron than the newly-formed ones.
INTERACTIONS AND SPECIAL FEATURES
Boron availability varies depending on the exchangeable reserves of the plot, and also on seasonal and climatic conditions like high rainfall which leads to leaching. It also depends on the biological activity of the soil, and the physiological requirements of the plants. Crop variety also has an influence on boron uptake and requirement.
The supply of soil-born boron depends on the soil type. If the parent rock is magmatic, it contains very little of it. Sedimentary rocks, as well as the seas in which they were formed, are richer in boron. Like potash, boron can be retained by clay layers and dissolved in the soil solution depending on alternating soil moisture.
Iron and aluminium ions can fix boron in acidic soil and calcium in alkaline soil. In addition to these physicochemical mechanisms, inputting organic materials naturally renews the level of boron in soils. Arable farms without organic manure need to apply boron with mineral boron fertilizers in order to compensate for the removals.
Sensibility table & Symptomes
Boron deficiency in plants appears as chlorosis, deformities or necrosis of parts of the crop.
Excess & Needs
Boric acid is a powerful bactericide. Even for demanding crops such as rapeseed, excess should be avoided as it can have a negative impact on yields.
Boron is concentrated naturally through quite a complex geological cycle. For this reason, boron deposits are quite scarce. The process takes place in two stages:
1) a very long precipitation in an inner pocket in which the boron escapes into fumaroles,
2) a crystallisation, with re-solubilisation and concentration in a warm, inland sea subjected to evaporation. Boron is deposited at the bottom, either as calcium or sodium borate.
PROCESS OF FABRICATION
The challenge for the industry, therefore, is to formulate a ready-to-use product with a proper level of solubility for nutritional efficiency.
Borealis L.A.T uses two production methods. One consists of using acid to make boron soluble and then complexing it in an organic molecule to protect it from overly rapid deterioration. The other method is micronisation to ensure that it can penetrate leaves when used for foliar fertilization.
SOIL AND ORGANIC MATTER CONTENT
The soil extraction method by hot water is relatively well-established. We can consider the following minimum limits:
In calcareous soil, the minimum content is 0.8ppm.
In soil at neutral pH, the minimum content is 0.6ppm.
In acidic soil, the minimum content is 0.4ppm.
A big part of the soluble boron comes from organic matter. A low organic matter content limits the availability of boron in the soil solution. Less than 1.8% organic matter content indicates a high risk of deficiency.
Clay tends to complex the boron, thus retaining it in the clay layers. However, it is easily released into the soil solution. Conversely, in sandy soils, boron is not retained and is therefore prone to leaching.
Rainy periods can bring about boron leaching. Conversely, dry periods prevent the solubilisation of boron. Therefore, in arid areas the availability of boron is lower, whereas in humid areas the risk of leaching is higher.
This is one of the main factors determining the assimilability of boron. It diminishes when soil pH rises and aggravates the deficiencies. A pH above 6.5 induces a decrease in boron assimilability. Therefore liming can have a negative influence on boron availability.