Boron Deficiency

Boron Deficiency Starts in the Soil

Low concentrations of boron are found in soils that:
  • Have a low concentration of organic matter
  • Are acidic and sandy
  • Are in areas with high humidity
What factors make boron more available to plants?
  • Finely textured subsoils with higher clay content tend to show the highest levels of boron, even when overlaid with a sandy top surface.
  • Too much or too little pH, especially pH above 6.5 or below 5.0, tends to reduce boron availability.
  • Microorganisms are crucial to the release of boron from organic compounds. Warm, moist, well-tilled soils with adequate aeration improve microbial activity and likely have better boron availability.

Soil and tissue tests

Soil tests, such as hot-water extraction or Mehlich-1 or Mehlich-3 extraction, can help determine whether plants have the right amount of boron available to them. Analysis of plant tissue samples used with soil tests can confirm boron levels in crops and help monitor levels as you begin to treat deficiencies.
Soil tests for available boron
Soil testing is helpful in assessing the potential boron-supplying capacity of the soil. Research has shown that three commonly used soil tests, the Mehl... Learn More
Know your soil
Boron deficiency starts in your soil. Learn how soil conditions can affect boron levels and your crop yield. Learn More
Plant tissue testing for boron
Plant analysis is a valuable tool in determining the general nutritional status of crops during the growing season. Accurate data requires careful collection ... Learn More

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 650 customers with more than 1,800 delivery locations globally. We supply around 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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