Mexico and Central America

Meeting Global Demand Through Boron

Mexico’s varied landscape and climate enable producers to grow more than 200 crops, positioning the country as a major player in Latin American food production and the eighth-largest agricultural crop producer in the world. Main crops include corn, tomatoes, bananas, chili peppers, oranges, lemons, limes, mangos, other tropical fruits, avocados, and coffee. Agricultural exports are critical to Mexico’s economy, and though most of the country’s exported food products go to the United States, new markets have opened up to producers, including Canada, Japan, and Europe.

Although the country’s agricultural output is high, crop production accounts for just 10% of Mexico’s total national territory. This is largely because a significant portion of the country’s soil is shallow, making it susceptible to erosion, extreme dryness, or waterlogging.

Across Mexico and Central America, agriculture is also highly vulnerable to weather extremes—especially in the drought-prone northern regions and in the south, where tropical storms can cause extensive damage to crops. This combination of increasingly volatile weather and poor soil conditions makes boron deficiency a constant threat. Boron availability decreases under drought conditions, which make it more difficult for boron to move from the soil to plant roots. During periods of heavy rainfall, boron is washed away, resulting in boron deficiency.

Featured Regional Crops

Small chlorotic spots form between the veins of the youngest unfolded leaves. The spots enlarge and coalesce to form the characteristic white stripes. The stripes do not develop on mature leaves.
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Research has shown that boron amendments in avocado affected by boron deficiency can increase yield, increase quality of fruit produced, and strengthen root development.
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Oil palm
Oil palm removes significant amounts of boron from the soil each year. And, boron is the most often deficient micronutrient in oil palm cultivation.
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Resources for Farmers in Latin America

Boron elevates avocados’ yield and quality
Producers need to understand the role boron has in bolstering their avocado yields. Since boron plays a multifaceted role in various physiological plant proce... Learn More
Key functions of boron in oil palm cultivation in Latin America
Boron (B) deficiency has been identified as the most common nutritional disorder in oil palm plantations around the world, and it is intensified in regions wi... Read More
Customer success story: Central America
A U.S. Borax customer who decided to switch to nonrefined mineral borates sees a real difference in crop yield. Learn More

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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