Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 58
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58 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1953
even though the soil supply is adequate to prevent outward deficiency
In a study of sources of boron at the Alabama station, colemanite
was found to be only 19 percent, and howlite 4 percent as soluble as
fertilizer borate. Both colemanite and howlite were found to be good
sources of boron for turnips and soybeans. Boron increased crimson
clover seed yields 3- to 6-fold at four different locations. Hot water
extractable boron correlated well with the seed yields of crimson
In similar studies, the South Carolina station found colemanite
to be less toxic to seedlings than the more commonly used borax and
fertilizer borate, especially on sandy soils. The accumulations of
boron in soils as a result of three annual applications of colemanite
was no greater than from the application of equivalent rates of borax
or fertilizer borate, and the colemanite proved to be a good source
of boron. In these same experiments, however, two fritted sources
of boron (one a boron frit and the other a trace element frit) produced
higher yields of soybeans than either colemanite or howlite. A close
correlation existed between the amount of boron applied in FTE,
or other source, and that found in the resulting plants. On the other
hand, no such correlation existed for manganese.
Effect of location and soil treatment
The Storrs station (Connecticut) found that alfalfa grown in the
Connecticut Valley was higher in molybdenum than that grown on
soils in the eastern highland area of the State. Soils in the latter
area, when treated with molybdenum, produced alfalfa containing
13 p. p. m. of the element, or enough to be potentially dangerous from
the standpoint of being toxic to animals. On another crop, lettuce,
typical molybdenum deficiency systems developed on unlimed soils,
as well as at low rates of liming. On heavily limed soils no response
was obtained to molybdenum additions.
Liming soils was found to depress the uptake of cobalt and manganese
by the New Hampshire station. The addition of trace elements
to soils did not always result in increased amounts in the crops
produced. Cobalt showed the greatest increase. Zinc increased
slightly, whereas manganese, copper, and iron showed little change
due to soil applications. The leaves of red clover were higher in trace
elements than the stems, although the blossoms contained more cobalt
than the leaves but less copper, manganese, and iron. Ladino clover,
timothy, and bromegrass grown under conditions of heavy fertilization
(for production of maximum yields) were found to contain levels
of cobalt, copper, and iron insufficient to maintain milk production
and growth rate of dairy heifers.
The Massachusetts station found that rates of 12 and 24 pounds of
boron per acre, when used for the second consecutive year, caused
toxicity to the leaves of both legumes and grasses on Merrimac fine
sandy loam. Different rates of lime, from 2 to 16 tons per acre, had
no effect on the boron content of legumes. In 1950 smooth bromegrass
ranged from 45 to 120 p. p. m. of boron, but contained only 8 to 12
p. p. m. in 1952, two years after the boron had been applied. Alfalfa
also was lower in boron in 1952 than in 1950. This difference in plant
composition reflected the change that had occurred in the soil boron.
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/60/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.