Boron in Soybean Flowering

Boron plays a critical role in soybean flowering and pod set.

Boron is an essential micronutrient that plays a vital role in many physiological processes in soybean plants, especially during the critical flowering and early pod development stages. Ensuring adequate boron nutrition can help maximize soybean yield potential. Let’s take a closer look at why boron is so important for soybean reproduction and how to manage boron fertility in your soybean crop.

Boron’s Functions in Soybean Flowering and Pod Set

Boron has several key roles in soybean plants during the reproductive stages:

  • Boron is necessary for flower development, pollen viability, and pod formation and seed set. Boron deficiency during flowering can lead to flower abortion and reduced pod numbers.
  • Boron aids in cell wall formation, cell division, and vascular tissue development in growing points like flowers. Low boron restricts the growth of pollen tubes, disrupting pollination and seed development.
  • Boron facilitates the transport of sugars from leaves to developing flowers and pods. Boron forms complexes with sugars to allow their movement through cell membranes.
  • Adequate boron nutrition promotes increased branching and nodes, allowing for more flowering sites and ultimately higher pod numbers per plant.
  • Boron interacts with calcium in cell walls and membranes and is involved in nitrogen fixation in root nodules. Boron deficiency can therefore indirectly limit plant growth and pod fill.

Boron is immobile in plants, meaning it cannot be remobilized from older leaves to new growth. Therefore, soybean plants need a steady supply of boron from the soil or fertilizer, especially during the high-demand reproductive stages from flowering through pod development. Peak boron uptake occurs between the R1 first flower and R5 early seed stages.

Boron Deficiency Symptoms in Soybeans

Visual symptoms of boron deficiency are not always apparent in soybeans until yield has already been compromised. Boron deficiency tends to appear in irregular patches rather than the whole field.

Symptoms include:

  • Stunted plants with shortened internodes between leaves.
  • Death of the growing point and proliferation of lateral branches.
  • Yellowing and deformation of upper leaves.
  • Fewer flowers and pods.
  • Delayed maturity and leaf senescence.

Boron deficiency is more likely in coarse-textured, low organic matter soils that are prone to leaching, especially in high rainfall areas. Deficiency can also occur in dry conditions when root activity is limited, in high pH/limed soils, or when potassium levels are very high. Tissue testing is the most reliable way to assess boron status, with <20 ppm considered deficient.

Boron Fertilization Strategies for Soybeans

CalBor, a foliar applied product that effectively delivers a blend of calcium and boron, into the tissues of the plant is just one of the solutions we’ve invested in.

The product gets calcium and boron into the plant- a feat in and of itself, and one few products can actually achieve. In addition, CalBor increases water uptake and retention and aids in pollination and retention of fruiting bodies.

Concept N25B is also a solution farmers turn to when looking to meet a developing crop’s N demands and supply the added boost of boron. The product is specifically formulated to foliar feed plants for weeks and is backed by Stress Tek technology to help mitigate the in-season challenges Mother Nature can and does deliver.

Looking to add Moly to your fertilizer plan? Trans Bmo® is specifically formulated to deliver boron and moly systemically through our TransMaxx technology in a foliar application.

And if you’re just looking for boron? We have it covered with Concept B10®, a 10% boron that incorporates the same proprietary techonology, Stress Tek. The product solution fills the late-season boron gaps that helps a crop meet test weight goals while filling the N metabolization and protein formation gaps.

It’s worth a line in your fertilizer budget.

Boron fertilization has been shown to increase soybean branching, flowering, pod set, and seed yield in responsive environments. Soil and foliar applications are effective.

It’s worth the investment: boron fertility is critical for optimal soybean flowering, pod set, and seed production. Proactively managing boron nutrition through soil and foliar fertilization and monitoring with tissue testing can help soybean growers achieve maximum yield potential. Contact your Concept AgriTek representative for customized boron recommendations for your soybean crop.

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