Potato Review Group

Contents

Background: deficiency and toxicity

Application of boron

Further information:

Boron notes

 

Background: deficiency and toxicity

  1. Boron deficiency is most likely to occur on irrigated soils with a high pH.
  2. Boron deficiency may also occur on some free draining soils, particularly if soil is dry early in the season.
  3. Deficiency symptoms include death or stunting of the growing points, internodes are short and the plant has a stunted, bushy appearance. The leaves also thicken and the margins roll upwards.
  4. Most U.K. soils may be expected to provide sufficient boron for potato crops, provided that availability is not restricted by dry soil.
  5. There is a narrow optimum concentration of boron in potato tissue: sufficient levels are usually between 25 – 80 ppm (early season) or 25 – 50 ppm (plants>30 cm high).
  6. Boron toxicity results in blackening of stems and in necrosis and death of the lower leaf edges.

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Application of boron

  1. Ensure that soil is well structured, to allow rapid root growth.
  2. Ensure that soil nutrients are sufficient when roots are growing, apply water if necessary to ensure uptake.
  3. On soils where boron deficiency may be expected, analyse concentration in foliage early in the season.
  4. If the concentration is low (< 30 ppm), make a foliar application of 150 – 300 g B ha-1 after emergence, to achieve a concentration of 30 – 40 ppm in foliage.
  5. Check concentration of boron in tissue.
  6. If necessary (i.e. < 30 ppm), apply a further 150 – 300 g B ha-1.
  7. Boron is not mobile in the phloem of potatoes, so repeat applications may be required.

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Further information

Boron notes

Micro-nutrients 2001 (Includes boron physiology summary)

Boron nutrition 1996 (Physiology and requirements)

 

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