Improving Crop Health
Australian agriculture has become increasingly diversified, and the continent’s large expanses of arable land have helped it to become a leading world exporter of grains, predominantly wheat and barley, along with wool and beef. Other important crops include oats, maize, oilseeds (canola, sunflowers, soybeans, and peanuts), grain legumes (lupins and chick peas), sugarcane, cotton, fruits, grapes, tobacco, and vegetables. Even though only about 6% of Australia’s land is suitable for crops and pasture, a considerable amount is suitable for cattle grazing.
Boron deficiency was first documented in Australia in the 1930s in apple trees growing in Tasmania and New South Wales. In subsequent years, low boron levels were also discovered in a wide range of pasture and crop plants across the continent. Australia enjoys a lower rate of boron deficiency than some other parts of the world, yet boron deficiency is prevalent on the west coast where soil tends to be dry and sandy or volcanic. Along with periods of heavy rainfall, these soil conditions can cause leaching, creating the need for refined boron supplementation.