Boron Deficiency in Rutabaga
When rutabaga is boron deficient, brown, water-soaked areas develop in the root, normally in the outer regions of the xylem. These symptoms give rise to the various names for boron deficiency such as “brown heart,” “water core,” and “Raan.” In severe cases, the central tissue may break down and the root become hollow. The feeding value is reduced and the roots are likely to be tough, fibrous, and bitter. Keeping quality is poor and affected roots lose weight through loss of moisture in storage.
Normally no symptoms are seen on the leaves. The roots will be of normal size and the problem is only apparent after harvest.
Typical recommended ranges for boron boradcast soil application for rutabaga is 2-3 lbs of B/acre. Normal plant analysis levels for the best quality and marketability have leaf boron levels in the 25-60 ppm range.*
*Always consult local crop advisors to check the proper dose rates. Rates of boron fertilization should be based on yield goals along with soil tests and/or plant tissue analyses.