Impact of boron additions in marginal soils for growth of corn, wheat, soybean, and switchgrass¬

Sougata Bardhan., Arun K. Chattopadhyay., Shibu Jose and Janith Chandrasoma

Expansion of agricultural production in marginal or poor nutrient status soils would necessitate calibration of the various nutrients to support plant growth. Boron (B) is an important micronutrient required by plants for regulating many functions including seed and fruit development. Few studies have compared the effectiveness of different types (refined vs crushed ore) of B source on the growth of plants. We hypothesize that addition of refined granulated B fertilizer as well as granulated ores will increase plant available Ca and B in the marginal and sandy soils. A greenhouse experiment was carried out to mimic a poor soil condition, using potting media created by mixing 20 % potting mix and 80% sand. Nitrogen was applied at recommended rates. Pots were watered evenly throughout the growing season. Plant tissues were harvested, biomass recorded, dried and ground for analysis. There was no significant difference on biomass yield due to either rate or source. The four B sources showed different rates of availability to corn, soybean, wheat and switchgrass. Highly soluble B source seems to be the effective among B sources. Etigran-21 was found to be toxic to soybean plants, most likely due to its high solubility.

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