What is Boron?

What Is Boron?

Boron (B) is a nonmetallic chemical element (atomic number 5 on the periodic table). It only occurs naturally in compounds called borate minerals—deposits of which are found in the Earth's crust. These minerals are what we mine in Boron, California.

Although borates have a variety of industrial uses, boron is a micronutrient that is essential to plant growth. Adequate boron is necessary for proper absorption of macronutrients and for maintaining the integrity of plant cell walls.

Boron deficiencies are common in agriculture. Factors that can reduce the amount of boron available to crops include:
  • Overfarming
  • Extremely hot or cold conditions
  • Drought
  • Excess rain or irrigation
  • Sandy soils
Hence, boron supplmentation via fertlization is imperative for growers around the world.

Healthy crop growth depends on the right nutrients in soil. Soil needs macronutrients—elements such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium—but they are only one piece of the puzzle. Just as important are micronutrients, such as iron, copper, zinc—and boron.

Boron: The Micronutrient That Maximizes Crop Yield


A boron deficiency prevents absorption of essential macronutrients.

Refined borate fertilizer allows plants to get maximum benefits from the nutrients farmers add.
Understanding the interplay of macro- and micronutrients is important when choosing products and agricultural practices. By understanding boron’s role in soil and plant health, you increase your ability to give soil the nutrition it needs to produce high yields of high-quality crops. Liebig’s Law of the Minimum says that yield is proportional to the amount of the most limiting nutrient. That means a boron deficiency can limit yield, even when sufficient macronutrients are applied to the soil. Proper application of supplemental boron can have a direct and significant impact on soil and crop nutrition.
 

Learn more About the Science of Boron

Now that you know what boron is, read on to find out:

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 east of Los Angeles.  Learn more about Rio Tinto

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