The importance of Boron in your soil
What’s the deal with your soil’s Boron levels?
At Goldsuite, we understand the value in the small things, and how small things usually have simple, inexpensive solutions.
Did you know that lack of the mineral Boron is one of these small things? And that farmers tend to neglect the issue? We’ll give you a rundown on Boron, why it is so important for your crops and how Goldsuite can help you.
The Nutrition Matters platform states that Boron is actually a crucial mineral to have in your soil for your crops to have optimum growth, development, yield and quality. The minimum requirement is 1 ppm on a soil test, and most broadacre soils don’t even produce 0.5 ppm of boron. This can end up affecting your crops and ultimately your bottom line.
The role of Boron
Boron is a trace element essential to many functions of the plant. It is actively involved in the transportation of sugars across cell walls, and in the synthesis of cell wall material and the regulation of water within the cells. As a direct effect of boron availability to necessitate these functions, deficiencies of the trace element will result in stunted plant growth and development. Boron is closely linked to the reproductive process of the plant in that pollen production is greatly influenced by the availability of Boron. Sufficient available quantities are essential for the production of pollen and for pollen viability.
Nutrition Matters lists the top 10 functions as Boron as:
- Maintains healthy root growth – one of Boron’s primary functions is assisting the structural and functional integrity of the cell wall and membrane. A deficiency in Boron drastically inhibits root elongation due to impaired cell division.
- Minimises or eradicates the chance of growing misshapen fruit – the impaired cell division mentioned above also leads to deformed flowers and fruit. Common symptoms of boron deficiency include bumpy, misshapen fruit, hollow broccoli stems, crosswise cracking of celery stalks, shot berries in grapes and more.
- Assists with an improved fruit-to-flower ratio – Boron impacts the lengthening of the pollen tube, which can hugely impact pollination and improve the fruit-to-flower ratio. A good example here is the avo tree, which can have a large number of flowers, but most of them do not become fruit. A Boron hungry crop can respond amazingly by increasing the fruit-to-flower ratio.
- Boron, the ‘steering wheel’ – Boron is an important calcium synergist. You might have heard that “calcium is the trucker of all minerals and boron is the steering wheel”. An example of this synergy relates to the middle lamella. This is the cement-like lining between adjacent cells. Boron drives the formation of calcium pectate, which is of crucial for strengthening the middle lamella and the cell wall for plant protection. Without this super-resistant material, invading fungi are more able to use their enzymes to break down these barriers and feast upon the insides of the cell. Cell walls become much more resistant to maceration by fungal pathogens when good levels of calcium pectate are present.
- Assists with improved mineral uptake – Boron supports ion fluxes of minerals across the cell membrane and into and out of the cell. Boron increases uptake and availability of other plant nutrients, including nitrogen, zinc, iron and copper.
- Enhances Nitrogen fixation – In legume crops, boron is an essential requirement for nitrogen fixation for both Rhizobium and Actinomycetes species. The lack of a pinkish-red interior in legume nodules is a common sign of boron deficiency, and it is a red flag for poor nitrogen fixation.
- Promotes protein formation – Boron plays a vital role in nitrogen metabolism, as it is required (along with molybdenum) for the nitrate reductase enzyme that converts nitrates through to protein.
- Maintains healthy photosynthesis – Boron deficiency can negatively impact photosynthesis. This can occur due to disruption of chloroplast membranes (‘the sugar factory’) and interference with the stomatal openings required to capture CO2 for photosynthesis.
- Aids in disease protection – Boron complexes with phenolic compounds to provide protection from free radicals and disease. Without Boron, there is a damaging excess of certain phenols.
- Helps to fill the seed head – when cereal grains like corn and wheat are lacking boron, the top of the seed head fails to fill. There is also much less likelihood of seed sterility in wheat fertilised with boron.
To read the full article, head over to The Nutrition Matter platform here.
At Goldsuite we don’t just do fertilisers, we help you grow profitable harvests.