Signs of Boron deficiency in the crop and ways to prevent it

  • Symptoms are variable, depending on the crop and the growing conditions, but generally, they are visible first on new leaves.
  • The first sign is usually the discoloration and thickening of young leaves.
  • At greater severity, the deficiency causes necrosis of the growing points.
  • Boron deficiency is usually observed in soils with a high pH because in these conditions this element is in a chemical form that is not available for the plant.
  • Soils with low organic matter content (<1.5%) or sandy soils (prone to nutrient leaching) are also susceptible to boron deficiency.
  • Preventive Measures for boron deficiency.
  • Avoid soils with high pH.
  • Avoid high air humidity and low soil moisture. Do not over-fertilize or lime the soils.
  • Avoid over-watering of the crops.
  • Regular testing of soil and keep the full details of the level of nutrients in your area.

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Boron deficiency in tomato

  • These boron-deficient leaves show light general chlorosis.
  • These deficiency symptoms are similar to those caused by calcium deficiency.
  • The leaves are unusually brittle and tend to break easily.
  • Also, there is often a wilting of the younger leaves even under an adequate water supply, pointing to a disruption of water transport caused by boron deficiency.
  • Correction measure: Foliar spray of boron 20% EDTA @ 200 gm/acre.

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Boron deficiency symptoms and control in watermelon

  • Young leaves are smaller than normal and may be curled.
  • Yellowing proceeds from the marginal area between the veins towards the center.
  • The youngest leaves show necrotic tips.
  • Stems can crack due to the low cell strength.
  • Plants are stunted or dwarfed as the internodes are shortened.
  • Growing points die back.
  • Flowering and fruit set is poor.
  • Fruits are distorted with a poor skin finish.
  • Hollow heart is more common.
  • Deficiencies usually occur when soil moisture contents are too high, or under conditions of high pH.

Control :-

  • Use of calcium nitrate with added boron fertliizer @ 25 kg/acre.
  • Use of phosphate solubilizing bacteria @ 4 kg per acre.
  • Spray of boron 20% @ 200 gm per acre twice in 10 days at flowering stage.

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Role of Boron in Plants

Role of Boron in Plants:- Boron (B) is not required by plants in high amounts, but can cause serious growth problems if it is not supplied at appropriate levels. Boron is different from other micronutrients in that there is no chlorosis associated with its deficiency; however it does have similar toxicity symptoms as other micronutrients.

Function: Boron is used with calcium in cell wall synthesis and is essential for cell division (creating new plant cells). Boron requirements are much higher for reproductive growth so it helps with pollination, fruit and seed development. Other functions include translocation of sugars and carbohydrates, nitrogen metabolism, formation of certain proteins, regulation of hormone levels and transportation of potassium to stomata (which helps regulate internal water balance). Since boron helps transport sugars, its deficiency causes a reduction of exudates and sugars from plant roots, which can reduce the attraction and colonization of mycorrhizal fungi.

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