Boric acid, the main form in which plants take up boron from soils is not phloem mobile, but some plant species can translocate it in phloem by forming complexes with sugars.
This is species dependent, as it is determined by what kind of sugars the plant synthesises. This means that the way boron functions is crop specific, what works on one crop will not necessarily work on another.
To improve yield on potatoes using Boron we need to understand:
2. How boron effects carbohydrate transport.
Boron status alters hormone synthesis – changing where the plant grows
Potatoes are a crop where growers must balance top growth with tuber development to ensure good yield. The main driver in vegetative growth is nitrogen, whereby as nitrate levels increase the plant produces higher levels of auxin – leading to faster vegetative growth at the expense of tuber development. Farmers must carefully balance this nitrogen response to ensure top growth does not create problems with tuber yield and quality.
Boron deficiency in potatoes is more associated with rapid growth induced by growing conditions or nitrogen fertilization, than lack of supply from the soil. The more nitrogen the plant gets the faster it grows and the more deficient it becomes in B. Meaning that even in soils with good levels of B you can get leaf deficiency of boron during periods of rapid growth.
Levity have developed Damu, a high efficiency product that allows lower rates of B to be more effective, using stimulants to increase speed of uptake and metabolism. Damu can be used during periods of excess vegetative growth to reduce auxin production and refocus the crop on root growth.
Boron influences carbohydrate transport to tubers
To develop tubers the potato plants move sucrose from photosynthesising leaves (where it is created), to the tubers (where it is converted to starch and stored). Boron also plays a role in this movement of sucrose from leaves to roots and so has a key influence on tuber bulking.
How to use Damu on potatoes
Boron has a role to play in preventing rapid vegetative growth reducing tuber development, and in improving bulking via improved carbohydrate transfer to tubers. Damu is a unique formula developed by Levity Crop Science, proven to improve tuber size in potato crops. It can be used a a low rate in during the bulking period to maintain proper tuber development during periods of rapid growth, or at a higher rate ahead of harvest to bulk tubers.