Boron Deficiency in Corn
Boron is a key element in plant nutrition. University researchers have found yield increases ranging from 9 to 37 bushels of corn per acre where boron was added. Corn requires high levels of all nutrients to ensure maximum economic yields.
Boron is necessary for:
- Stimulation of root and shoot development
- Tassel and silk formation
- Movement of sugars from leaves to ears
- Pollen germination
- Pollen tube growth and seed formation
- Better water use efficiency and drought tolerance
Irregular distribution of kernels and a general reduction in growth are the first signs of boron deficiency. Severe boron deficiency results in short bent cobs of corn with under-developed tips and very poor kernel development. Yellow or white spots develop between the veins on young leaves, and the spots often coalesce forming streaks. These streaks, which may be waxy and raised from the leaf surface, do not normally develop on fully grown leaves. The leaf tips may be curled. There is also a shortening of the internodes and often the young leaves fail to open. There are indications that high-lysine corn is more susceptible than normal corn to boron deficiency.