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Happy Soil for a Happy Earth Day

:: Thursday, April 22, 2021 :: Posted By Wendall Boehlje
We celebrate Earth Day much like every other day—by providing the boron-delivering products growers need to achieve sustainability in profitability, production, efficiency, and environmental stewardship.
 
As a company, U.S. Borax knows that the future lies in humanity’s ability to reduce our environmental impact on the planet and curb global warming. That’s why our parent company, Rio Tinto, has committed to spending $1 billion on climate related projects over the next five years.
 
We are continually improving upon our lean mining and refining processes. In fact, we are a zero liquid discharge facility—meaning U.S. Borax treats and recycles our wastewater to ensure that there is zero discharge into the environment. Not only does this process save water during our manufacturing process, but we use recycled water to control dust. This helps improve quality of life conditions in the Boron, CA community where we operate.
 
However, a significant contribution to global sustainability comes from our agriculture products which help deliver boron to grow the world’s food supply.
 

Soil food and plant fuel

Boron is an essential micronutrient. Without it, soils cannot properly cycle other nutrients and plants and trees lack the nutrient profile they need to yield to their full potential. While an over application of boron doesn’t carry the same environmental ramifications as its macronutrient cousins, it can still have a negative effect on the ability of the soil microbiome to hold, cycle, and catalyze nutrients within the soil profile.
 
The 4Rs—the right source, right rate, at the right time, and in the right place—matter in every micro and macronutrient fertilizer application in order to protect the environment and improve sustainability.
  • The Right Source: Applying a product that not only provides the quantity, but also the quality of fertilizer needed is the foundation of the 4Rs—rate, time, and place carry no consequence if you begin with a sub-par source. This principle is the foundation of the U.S. Borax’s fertilizer products: High-quality, refined products farmers can count on.
  • The Right Rate: Calculating the proper rate of boron supplementation helps a grower purchase and apply the quantity of boron needed for optimal results. Preventing, diagnosing, and treating boron deficiencies can increase bottom-line profitability while decreasing product applied and fossil fuel use during application.
  • The Right Time: Knowing when in the growing season to apply boron, combined with the right rate, helps producers meet a crop’s critical stage boron requirement without over applying.
  • The Right Place: The right “place” may be a soil or foliar application, distance from the root system, or even the product a producer chooses to “place” boron in. Combining refined boron with other fertilizer can help decrease time, labor, and application fees while providing optimal coverage.

An organic solution

In no other industry do the words efficiency and profitability carry more synonymity than the agriculture industry. And, with sustainability taking a forefront, both efficiency and profitability must be paired with environmentally conscious practices. To help farmers achieve the sustainability goals they have within their production model, U.S. Borax offers products that deliver the boron plants need to reach their genetic potential.
 
For organic farmers, four U.S. Borax fertilizer products are OMRI listed as appropriate soil amendments in organic farming: OMRI, an acronym for Organic Materials Review Institute, is the international, nonprofit, material review organization that determines product acceptability for use in both U.S. and Canadian organic farming practices, as allowed by the USDA National Organic Program and Canadian Organic Standards.
 

Earth Day every day

At U.S. Borax, we wholeheartedly believe that for those who spend their work life tilling soil to feed the world, every day is Earth Day. We are proud to help our customers with:
  • Environmentally sustainable practices
  • Products for organic farming
  • Advancing the science of increased crop yields


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U.S. Borax, part of Rio Tinto, is a global leader in the supply and science of borates—naturally-occurring minerals containing boron and other elements. We are 1,000 people serving 500 customers with more than 1,700 delivery locations globally. We supply 30% of the world’s need for refined borates from our world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.  Learn more about Rio Tinto.

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