Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Plants, Soils, and Climate
David W. James
Eighteen field plots at 15 locations were selected throughout the state to evaluate the status of the boron content in irrigation waters, soils, and alfalfa (Medicago sativa) plant tissue under irrigated conditions.
No boron deficiency symptoms were observed in any of the alfalfa plants at any of these locations, nor were any of the plant tissue boron levels inadequate. Only two locations were found in which the alfalfa plants exibited toxicity symptoms. These locations were along the Indian and Antelope Creeks in Duchesne County which contain high boron levels in the water. All the alfalfa and soil tested and irrigated by either Indian or Antelope Creek waters are the only ones tested and found to contain, naturally occuring, high levels of boron in Utah.
The light sandy soils were found to contain less available boron than the heavier clay soils. The sandy soil of the Grand County location at Moab showed no available soil boron, while the clayey soils in Duchesne County irrigated with high boron waters were the only soils found to contain excessive levels of available soil boron.
The application of 2.8 kilograms of boron per hectare in the form of Solubor significantly increased the available soil boron content by 19.07 percent in the Cache County plots.
The 12 alfalfa varieties grown in the Morgan and Tooele County plots showed significant differences with respect to location and tissue boron contents when the results of the two locations were combined. Overall, variety desert had the highest average boron content of 69.5 milligrams boron per kilogram and AS-49R contained the lowest boron content (Y=69.91+13.64X; R2=0.79) or the available soil boron content (Y=63.15+7.66X; R2=0.82).
Radtke, Robert N. Jr., "Boron Composition of Alfalfa in Utah as Related to Soils and Irrigation Waters" (1986). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 3662.
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