East China

Combating the effects of climate with boron

This densely populated region of China includes some of the country’s most important agricultural centers, including the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Shandong. Most of eastern China enjoys a temperate climate with hot and rainy summers and cold, dry winters. The vast majority of rainfall occurs during summer monsoon season, creating ideal rice growing conditions. However, excessive moisture also brings challenges, specifically boron deficiency. When there is not enough boron in the soil, boron deficiency can reduce crop yields, quality, and income.

Heilongjiang, located in the far northeast corner, accounts for about 10% of all staple grain output in China. Millions of acres of fertile farmland are devoted to growing sugar beets, soybeans, corn, and wheat. Heilongjiang is also the country's largest producer of rice and beans.

Jilin is the noted rice-producing region of China and a major producer of corn, grain sorghum, millet, and beans. The most important commercial crops grown are sugar beets and tobacco, as well as flax, sunflower, and sesame.

Shandong, on the Yellow Sea, is the country’s second most populous province. Its diversified agricultural and industrial economy produces many food and cash crops for local consumption and export. The leading food crops—wheat, corn, soybeans, millet, and sweet potatoes—account for most of the area’s production, with the remaining arable land devoted to cash crops such as peanuts and cotton.

Featured Regional Crops

While boron fertilization may only occasionally improve peanut yields, it almost always is necessary for the prevention of “hollow heart” and other concealed disorders that severely reduce crop value.
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In rice plants, boron does not move throughout the plant. Because it doesn't move to new growth, boron deficiency symptoms usually appear first on young leaves.
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Boron deficiency causes similar symptoms on wheat, barley, oats, and rye.
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Improve Soil Conditions with Boron Supplementation

Growers can overcome some of the challenges presented by high rainfall by replacing the boron that leaches from the soil. A high-quality boron fertilizer that is water soluble and releases slowly, so it is available throughout the growing season can meet the nutrition needs of most crops, helping to support plant health, protecting it from harm, promoting healthy growth—and enabling higher yields.

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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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