The effect of soil and foliar boron fertilization on canola yield
Boron represents one of the least studied micronutrients in prairie soils. Earlier studies had to contend with inefficient and often cumbersome chemistries for determination of this nutrient. The advent of ICP (Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometry) has allowed development of routine techniques for determination of low boron levels in soils. No calibration work has taken place in western Canada on boron. Hot-water extractable boron, initially developed by Berger and Truog (1939), and subsequently modified by Wear (1965) and Gupta (1979), still remains the prevalent method for assessing soil “available” boron. Hot-water soluble levels of <0.35 ppm are generally considered as deficient (Sims and Johnson 1991). An attempt to calibrate N NH4Oac-extractable boron by Tomasiewicz et al. (1989) using 19 sites the majority of which contained “available” boron levels of less than 0.35 ppm and growing canola, mustard, wheat and flax was unsuccessful. Recent work in Saskatchewan (Malhi et al. 2000) resulted in no consistent results of boron application to seed yield, seed characteristics or disease pressure of canola. The objective of this project was to attempt to identify soils in western Canada that might respond to boron application, calibrate the existing soil test (hot-water extractable) and derive proper fertilization techniques.
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