Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 7, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Elevated levels of boron have been found in agricultural soils and in shallow groundwater in the westside of central California. The Water Management Research Laboratory is presently evaluating vegetation management with B-tolerant plants in cooperation with Chilean scientists as a strategy to cope with high B in the agricultural ecosystem. Seed from crops, e.g., tomato, carrot, and corn, that have been irrigated for decades with high B water in Chile are being evaluated for B tolerance under typical soil and water conditions present in the westside of central California. Information collected from these studies will provide useful information for growers using high B soils in central California and for growers in northern Chile, who are considering using poor quality water containing boron for irrigation.
Technical Abstract: High concentrations of boron (B) in soil and water are detrimental to sustainable agriculture in central California. Boron is toxic to most plant species when accumulated in high concentration. Leaching high boron soils with excessive water has been a practice commonly used for lowering boron levels in the soil. An alternative strategy for utilizing high B soils is to grow B-tolerant crops. Boron tolerance may vary depending on a plants' ability to adapt to a high B condition. This brief overview presents information on both the accumulation of B in different crops grown under high B conditions in selected regions of California and Chile. Differences in B accumulation and toxicities reported in this overview illustrate the importance for developing international collaborations between countries for collecting germplasm of boron-tolerant plant species.