Wet winter causes widespread boron deficiency
Leaching of key nutrients such as boron and calcium, and lower pH levels, are likely to be the most common symptoms facing growers this spring. “Growers need to keep an even closer eye on their crops,” says independent agronomist Peter Parr. “It’s not uncommon for pH levels to fall following a wet season, but this also has negative effects on the availability of nutrients such as boron.
“OSR and other brassicas are particularly at risk,” he says. “Boron locks onto organic matter so light land in particular suffers from deficiencies. What was there will have been readily leached. Continued growth caused by the above average winter temperatures will have only compounded the issue.”
OSR is the most boron-dependent of all crops, requiring at least 320g/ha. But growers often fail to realise that each harvest removes about 80g/ha. “If no boron has been applied yet this spring, some urgency is required,” says Mr Parr.
“The key to maintaining boron levels this season will be in the timing. OSR crops are very thick and there is potential for some high yields, yet this speed of growth means they will need boron fast and soon.
“Not only does it help with growing points but it also plays a vital role in the production of pollen; consequently it affects seed formation. A boron deficiency has a direct and negative impact on yields,” he warns.
David Peach of Barclay Crop Protection agrees, adding that boron can also have a deleterious effect on root growth, thereby reducing the efficacy of nutrient take-up in general. “Ideally boron is applied prior to flowering and early stem extension. That’s now underway in most crops, so timing is going to be critical.
”Growers need a fast-acting, foliar application, such as Solubor at a rate of 1-1.5kg/ha, in order to help preserve yield potential.” It’s not just oilseed rape that’s at risk this year, points out Mr Parr. “Other brassicas will also benefit, as the warm atmospheric and soil temperatures will make transplanted brassicas grow rapidly,” he says. He recommends an application of boron straight after planting, and another application three to four weeks later at early head formation.
No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment
Please enter your name
Please enter your comment
Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.
Some error on your process.Please try one more time.
Butchers in the UK are losing a generation through lack of training opportu...
NASA research has revealed how dust blown from the Sahara desert helps supp...
“In the run up to the Budget 2015 most commentators were predicting that th...
The UK’s first fully operational floating solar panel system has been unvei...
Axing the badger cull in England and Wales will save more than £120 million...
By 2025, solar power could become one of the cheapest forms of energy in ma...
Demand for Scottish farm land remains strong and continues to be better val...
The Welsh red meat industry should aim to increase sales by at least 34 per...
Fears about the impact that a proposed transatlantic trade agreement could ...