Knowledge article

Boron deficiencies

Borium tekorten Know why

Boron has many indispensable functions in the plant that are important for the internal quality and yield of the crop. Sufficient boron has a positive effect on the uptake of calcium, formation and transport of sugars, strength of cell walls and the development of flowers, fruit and seeds. Crops that particularly need boron are sugar beet, maize, potatoes, lucerne and cabbage. Boron deficiencies in these crops can cause problems such as heart rot in sugar beet, hollow stems in cabbage and poor grain set in maize cobs.


Boron is very sensitive to leaching and is not readily held by soils with a limited buffer capacity (CEC) and a low organic matter content. Research conducted by Soiltech has shown that boron in a sandy soil with 1.3% organic matter leaches almost twice as fast as on the same sandy soil with 4.2% organic matter and even more than ten times as fast on a clay soil with 9.3% organic matter. Due to climate change there is an increased risk of leaching caused by a higher frequency of heavy rainfall. Another cause of boron deficiency is a negative nutrient balance. This occurs on a lot of arable land, due to the intensity of high production and restrictive fertiliser legislation. In other words, more nutrients are removed than can added to the soil. This particularly applies to boron, zinc, calcium and sulphur.


In view of the limited availability of boron, most arable crops require additional applications of boron. With Optima Soil Humi-B, Soiltech Soiltech offers an easy-to-use and effective soil fertiliser that combines the benefits of boron and humic acid. Optima Soil Humi-B is a pure humic acid with 2.3% complexed boron. The humic acid buffers nutrients in the soil and stimulates root growth. The addition of complexed boron also promotes the transport of sugar to the root. In addition, boron also plays an important role during pollen formation in the reproduction process.


Trials show that the application of Optima Soil Humi-B can significantly increase yields. The trial below performed in seed potatoes treated with 20 l/ha of Optima Soil Humi-B resulted in an additional yield of 15%.

Trial setupOptima Soil Humi-B in potatoes
Purpose:Increased yield of seed potatoes with a soil application (spray) of Optima Soil Humi-B
Period:May - August 2017
Planting date:01 May 2017
Site:Koen Ryckaert, Boekhoute, Belgium
Crop:Seed potatoes (variety 'Bintje')
Soil type:Light clay soil
Standard25 tons / ha manure + 100EN in form of urea (30%) between planting and ridging.
Optima Soil Humi-BAddition of 20 l/ha Optima Soil Humi-B to the urea spray (between planting and ridging).

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