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  Section: Plant Nutrition » Micronutrients » Boron
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Types of Fertilizers

Historical Information
  Determination of Essentiality
  Functions in Plants
    - Root Elongation and Nucleic Acid Metabolism
    - Protein, Amino Acid, and Nitrate Metabolism
    - Sugar and Starch Metabolism
    - Auxin and Phenol Metabolism
    - Flower Formation and Seed Production
    - Membrane Function
Forms and Sources of Boron in Soils
  Total Boron
  Available Boron
  Fractionation of Soil Boron
  Soil Solution Boron
  Hydrated Boron Minerals
Diagnosis of Boron Status in Plants
  Deficiency Symptoms
    - Field and Horticultural Crops
    - Other Crops
  Toxicity Symptoms
    - Field and Horticultural Crops
    - Other Crops
Boron Concentration in Crops
  Plant Part and Growth Stage
  Boron Requirement of Some Crops
Boron Levels in Plants
Soil Testing for Boron
  Sampling of Soils for Analysis
  Extraction of Available Boron
    - Hot-Water-Extractable Boron
    - Boron from Saturated Soil Extracts
    - Other Soil Chemical Extractants
  Determination of Extracted Boron
    - Colorimetric Methods
    - Spectrometric Methods
Factors Affecting Plant Accumulation of Boron
  Soil Factors
    - Soil Acidity, Calcium, and Magnesium
    - Macronutrients, Sulfur, and Zinc
    - Soil Texture
    - Soil Organic Matter
    - Soil Adsorption
    - Soil Salinity
  Other Factors
    - Plant Genotypes
    - Environmental Factors
    - Method of Cultivation and Cropping
    - Irrigation Water
Fertilizers for Boron
  Types of Fertilizers
  Methods and Rates of Application
Boron deposits of major economic importance are found only in arid regions of the world where volcanic action brought B and other volatile elements to the surface of the Earth during the Cenozoic era (56). Boron combined with alkali or alkaline earth elements to form rich deposits consisting chiefly of hydrous borates of calcium and sodium. The high water solubility of surface borate deposits precludes their existence in humid regions (56).

Concentrated borate deposits of commercial value were formed in continental enclosed basins by the evaporation of waters, which were boron-enriched by volcanic emanations. The locations of the major deposits are primarily in or near zones with histories of volcanic activity in arid regions. For example, a huge borate deposit, the Kramer deposit, was formed in a continental (nonmarine) basin in the Mojave Desert of California, associated with thermal spring activity during the Miocene epoch of the Cenozoic era. Similarly, significant boron deposits were formed in Argentina along the Andean mountain range near Salta. Studies have shown similarities between the hydrous borates of magnesium, calcium, and sodium formed in the Tincalayu deposit in the Province of Salta, Argentina, those in Kirka, Turkey, and the Kramer deposit in California (247).


Before the nineteenth century, Tibet was the world’s source of borates. During the nineteenth century, commercially viable deposits were discovered in Italy, Turkey, South America, and the United States. The largest known borate deposits occur in the interior plateau of Turkey. The second largest occur in the Mojave Desert. Other countries having substantial borate deposits are the former Soviet Union, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, and China (248). Borax and solubor are the two most common boron fertilizers. Borax (Na2O4B7.10H2O) has been an important commercial mineral for centuries. A list of common fertilizers is shown in Table 8.5.


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