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Boron: The essential micronutrient for plant growth

Plant growth

It’s hard to overstate the importance of boron in the growth of healthy crops. The trace element is needed, particularly at the critical time of flowering, pollination and seed formation. Boron is often said to be the adhesive that cements cell walls together.

A shortage of boron at the time of flowering and seed formation can result in a reduction in yield with stunted growth, brown patches and rotting. At this time of high boron demand, plants often cannot deliver enough of the element to the critical points where it is needed. For optimum yield, this micronutrient must be applied at a precise time and in a form that is quickly absorbed and completely mobile in the xylem and phloem.

Boron can be applied to crops as the salt sodium borate dissolved in water, which is taken up by the roots. The salt is cheap but easily washed out of the soil with rain. In the UK, boron is usually applied in the form of the complexes, usually with ethanolamine or di-ethanolamine as an aqueous solution. This mixture penetrates the leaf to a small extent, but most boron gets trapped in the outer layers and is immobilised.

Hockley Agro UK can now offer Smart® Quatro and Manni-Plex® B-Moly from Brandt USA, a global provider of advanced crop health products.

BRANDT Smart Quatro is a high efficiency foliar formulation with a robust micronutrient package, which includes boron alongside manganese, sulphur, zinc and molybdenum. It is ideal for in-season nutrient applications on all crops and is an excellent tank mix partner for post-emergent herbicides and late season fungicide applications.

In the Manni-Plex product, the boron is complexed with a natural sugar derivative. This molecule is so small it enters leaves through stomatal pores. Thus the nutrient is transported in the sap, and is fully mobile in the xylem and phloem, reaching those parts of the plant in critical need quickly. The rapid leaf absorption and rain resistance means little of the applied product is wasted.

It is combined with molybdenum, a very effective combination. The Mo is required by the nitrate reductase enzyme in plants which converts nitrates to amino acids. This is the best combination for flower and seed formation.

Want to try some?  Samples are available now. For more information please contact