Potato Plant Nutrition For Growers
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Boron Accumulation in Units/Acre in Relation to Yield

Tons/Ac 15 dae 30 dae 45 dae 60 dae 75 dae 90 dae 105 dae 120 dae
25 0.00 0.03 0.12 0.15 0.15 0.13 0.13 0.11
30 0.01 0.04 0.15 0.18 0.18 0.16 0.13 0.14
35 0.01 0.05 0.17 0.21 0.21 0.18 0.15 0.16
40 0.01 0.05 0.20 0.24 0.24 0.21 0.17 0.18

Boron is an “interesting” element in potato production. It is generally recognized as one of the least understood elements in crop production.

Boron can be “toxic” too many plants including potatoes; therefore the low recommended levels of soil availability. One contributing factor of this toxicity is that plants quite easily take it up, but poorly translocate boron. Boron “toxicity” is directly related to calcium deficiency. This is illustrated by the fact that calcium added to soils high in boron helps decrease boron toxicity, especially in high pH soils. Boron availability is therefore reduced in calcareous soils.

Boron Facts

  • Low B suppresses bioactivity of phosphates (ratio of P:B in vines is about 80:1)
  • High K suppresses B content of plants
  • Ca:B ratio is very important, but ratio requirement varies between plants (potato vines = minimum 300:1)
  • The most rapid response to B deficiency is loss of root growth (Ca is picked up through newly growing root tips). Cytokinins are produced by the root & translocated to the vine.
  • Low B causes “plugging” of phloem (starch pipeline to tubers) due to any increased formation of callose. Building the canopy is equivalent to building a structure, which holds up “solar collectors” (leaves) and a pipeline system (xylem – up, phloem – down).
  • Boron is poorly translocated, therefore required throughout the development of the canopy. It is a major micronutrient in vines, but less important in tuber development.
  • Boron suppresses the destructive action of certain phenols in plant tissues by complexion
  • These compounds are usually increased in high light intensity (hot days). Boron protects the plant, but is “used up” in the process.

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