U.S. Borax Inc, part of Rio Tinto, has launched a mobile crop guide to help agronomists, growers and researchers identify and treat boron deficiency in soils, a key issue facing agriculture.
Boron is an essential micronutrient to plant growth. In recent years, there’s been increased attention to the role micronutrients–such as boron and zinc–play in the proper absorption of macronutrients.
“Boron deficiency is the second-most common micronutrient deficiency problem worldwide,” said Malcolm Carr, Vice President, Commercial. “In working with our distributors and research partners, we saw a need to increase the understanding of boron’s role in soil and plant health for producing higher yields of quality crops.”
The mobile-optimized crop guide includes:
- Boron deficiency tips and growing guidance for more than 140 crops.
- Regional specific content for different growing seasons, crops and soil conditions.
- Expert advice, including more than 42 videos and additional resources.
- Value in Use Calculator to help estimate how improving boron uptake leads to better crop yield, quality and profitability.
Overfarming, extremely hot or cold conditions, drought, an overabundance of rainfall or irrigation and sandy soils are factors that can reduce the amount of boron available to crops.
Certain crops are more susceptible to boron deficiency than others. For example, apples and broccoli tend to fare worse than bananas or barley.
Solubility of boron key factor for uptake effectiveness
U.S. Borax and third-party research dating to the 1940s demonstrates that refined borate products outperform raw minerals in producing high-quality crops.
“Our research shows a direct correlation between the solubility of the boron and the amount the plant uptakes during critical stages of development,” said Jordi Bru, Global Market Development Director, U.S. Borax. “A 100-percent water-soluble refined borate with no impurities ensures a balanced crop nutrition that meets society’s environmental standards.”
The mobile crop guide and related resources are phase one of a multi-year project to build the world’s largest soil database for boron deficiency. Later releases will offer customized content for regions including Asia and Europe.
U.S. Borax supplies about 30 percent of the world’s refined borates from its world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles east of Los Angeles, to over 1,700 delivery locations globally.