Central United States and Canada

America's Breadbasket Needs Boron

Some of the most fertile agricultural land in the world can be found in the center of the North American continent. Claiming the title of America’s breadbasket, this region covers more than 125 million acres of arable land.

The midwestern United States are often called the Corn Belt. With some of the best soil conditions and climate for growing corn, this region produces about three-fourths of the U.S.’s corn crop. Despite its position as one of the world’s largest corn producing regions, the central U.S. offers a diversity of agricultural production that includes soybeans, a broad variety of vegetables, fruits, tree nuts, and berries. Soybeans in particular are an important staple for humans and livestock and have become a regular rotation crop with corn in much of the Midwest thanks to their ability to improve soil fertility.

West of the Corn Belt, the Wheat Belt stretches from Kansas through the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. This vast area of the Great Plains allows farmers to cultivate wheat in both winter and spring. Wheat, the most important cereal grain in Western diets, grows especially well in the broad, open lands of the Great Plains. In the southern part of this region, the primary crop is winter wheat, which is planted in the fall, is dormant during the winter, completes its growth in spring, and harvested in midsummer. It’s common for farmers to plant a crop of soybeans after harvesting their wheat, a practice known as double-cropping. They can often harvest the soybeans in time to plant the following year’s wheat crop in the fall, maximizing their production.

Featured Regional Crops

Boron fertilization of soybeans has been shown to increase grain yield at many locations in several states. University researchers have found yield increases ranging from 5 to 18 bushels per acre.
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University research found yield increases ranging from 9-37 bushels of corn per acre where boron was added. Corn requires high levels of all nutrients to ensure maximum economic yields.
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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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Boron Supplementation Makes Good Soil Healthier

The mineral-rich soils in this part of the country supply most of the micronutrient needs for high yielding corn and soybeans. However, boron supplementation is still recommended, especially for vegetables that are more susceptible to boron deficiency, such as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, turnip, rutabaga, and canola. For high-yield crops such as corn, wheat, and soybeans, boron is especially important because it improves seed and grain formation. Corn also removes significant amounts of boron from the soil each year, so replacing it is essential to maintain production from year to year.

Even though soil in the central U.S. and Canada tends to be fairly boron rich, only a relatively small amount of boron is actually available to plants. Ensuring boron is available all season long, at every developmental stage, is the key to larger yields. But not all boron fertilizers can deliver the same rate of available boron or provide a reliable release rate. Only U.S. Borax products offer high-quality, highly available, refined boron for a significant, long-lasting effect on crop yields.

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Boosting crop health: U.S. Midwest

Success Story Corn & Soybeans

Case Study Video

Growers in the U.S. Midwest are seeing higher yields and greater profits thanks to an understanding of the importance of micronutrients, including boron. Hear... Watch video

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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