New Zealand

Treating Diverse Soil Types

Farming is New Zealand’s largest industry and the one it is best known for internationally. Cropland is devoted to a variety of purposes, including forestry, pastureland and vineyards. Though dairy and beef cattle production are the dominant industries, nearly 80% of the nation’s export revenue in 2018 came from three primary products: Kiwifruit, wine, and apples. Common seed crops include cereal grains, primarily wheat, oats, barley and maize; peas and lentils; oil seed rape, and forage crops such as ryegrass and white clover for grazing animals.

New Zealand’s climate is also ideal for growing fruits. Stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, and cherries are consumed primarily domestically, while nearly 30 varieties of apples and pears are exported worldwide. The nation’s most famous agricultural export, the kiwifruit, is also its largest.

For a small country, New Zealand has a diverse mix of soils, but only a few types are fertile enough to produce food without the help of added nutrients and micronutrients. With large areas of volcanic soils and periods of heavy rainfalls, many of New Zealand’s crops can benefit from added boron.

Featured Regional Crops

Boron deficiency in alfalfa, in its mildest form, can easily pass unrecognized for it appears as a reduction in flowering and seed set. Good news, alfalfa responds especially well to boron fertilizers.
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Most species of pine exhibit similar symptoms of boron deficiency including the cessation of growth of the main leader.
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When turnips are boron deficient, brown, water-soaked areas develop in the root, normally in the outer regions of the xylem.
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Improve Soil Conditions with Boron Supplementation

Growers in New Zealand face higher rates of boron deficiency than those in Australia and rely on borates to counter this issue—but borate minerals, while cheaper than refined boron products, are often less water-soluble than refined boron. Sodium borates naturally provide better solubility and more available boron throughout the growing season in the areas with the most boron deficiency.
Even in areas with less deficiency, refined boron can benefit crop health, especially in trees. In New Zealand’s forests, low boron was noted as the cause of severe dieback problems. High-quality refined boron fertilizers, combined with an understanding of proper application rates needed for optimal results, can help to prevent the significant damage that can occur in boron-deficient trees. The same is true for fruit trees, which need more boron to ensure proper flowering and fruit formation.

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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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