From the Farm: Boron and corn crops

Local News

(WCIA) — What uses are there for boron?  It’s an ingredient in laundry detergents and it’s also a crop nutrient.

It doesn’t take 20 teams of mules to haul it out of the Utah mountains anymore, but boron is something that is becoming a popular yield booster for corn, says Agronomist Craig Bloemker of Illini FS.

“It’s a fairly low-cost input and the results we’ve seen over the last 2 or 3 years have been very promising, very consistent, and offers that profitability that we’re all looking for,” says Bloemker. “I’d be probably looking at pre-plant applications but we are testing both pre-plant and post for that matter, and maybe a combination of the two is one of the things we are going to be looking at in 2021 is maybe a systems-approach to boron.”

WCIA asks, what’s a systems approach?

“When I take a systems approach I would say maybe a sequence of applications, maybe different products, utilizing different products to get the applications put out there,” he says, “so maybe a pre-plant liquid and coming back with a post, maybe a dry application, or maybe a combination of 2 different liquid applications.”

There are options for testing it out first.

“On our on-farm discovery trials that we have been doing, we can either do a replicated strip trial or a lot of times you’ll find me splitting fields in a block trial and just comparing a treated versus an untreated,” Bloemker says

WCIA asks, what is the farmer’s reaction?

“A lot of the customers are very receptive. They are wanting guidance or they have questions they are interested in getting answered, so we are trying to come up with trial designs and products to meet those needs. Been very receptive. A lot of growers have changed their practices on their farm to adapt the products or practices that we are testing and seen very good return for them.”

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