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A Better Way to Farm Podcast

Oct 13, 2021

Today we are sharing with you another bonus episode of farm hacks for all our dedicated listeners. The A Better Way to Farm family has always aimed to find more and better ways to support our co-farmers and owners through all farm seasons, not only in farm productions and improvements but also in concrete and viable life tips and insights.


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This time, we are going to know more about Boron and how it does its magic in our soils. Keep in mind that if we do things right, we should be able to reap its benefits in due time. Let us exchange a few of our thoughts on this topic, so be ready to listen and Rod will impart a thing or two on this subject. Let’s go right in … 😉 😉 😉


Episode 72 Highlights

[00:00:16] Rod: Morning guys, Rod here at A Better Way to Farm. So today we wanted to talk about boron. Yesterday, we talked about sulfur. And I got to tell you guys, my best stories are the ones that come to us unsolicited. It's the yield monitor videos. It's the pictures. It's the unsolicited stories that people bring us, talking about the results that they're getting.


[00:00:37] And the bottom line is guys, when we do it right, we get results. Yesterday, we talked about sulfur and all of the things that it does and how important it is and the different forms that do work and don't work. And so today I want to do the same thing with boron. Now, the thing to remember is this. We have three negatively charged fertilizers that we apply- nitrogen, sulfur, boron. Why is that important? Well, because those three products will run away. The ground is also negatively charged, so they are repelled. Therefore we don't get them built. We used to get sold for boron from acid rain, but we have cleaned up the environment.


[00:01:14] Rainwater no longer brings us boron. It no longer brings us sulfur. And so consequently, we're going to have to purchase those and start applying them. In regards to boron, it's responsible for a lot of things. It also has a lot to do with how we utilize our nitrogen. We want to make sure we're utilizing our nitrogen as perfectly as possible, but one of the big things it does is it's has reproductive repercussions. It is very important for a corn plant because it's responsible for blue. So it's responsible for the tassel for pollen. It's also responsible to help with silk. And so if we do not get adequate pollen or we do not get adequate silk, we're not going to get adequate pollination. And so it's a stress reliever for that. And sometimes as you guys know, we get enough stress when we're off pollinating anyway, just because of the time of year that is. But our job to do is to make the limiting factor completely be weathered. That there'll be nothing other than weather; we do our very best job to take out all of the factors that could hurt us, that could pass a shield that could set us back.


[00:02:20] And boron is one of those products. If you go back into the page, you'll see some pictures from people like our friend Tyler out in Nebraska. Our friend, Johnny from middle of Nebraska. Those guys have sent us pictures of what boron has done, both in seed corn and in regular production corn, and the results are astounding.


[00:02:40] And guys, I don't want you to indiscriminately apply sulfur. I don't want you to indiscriminately apply boron. Is there a very high likelihood that you need them? Yes. The likelihood that you need boron is somewhere about 98% based on the soil test that we have seen. It's a simple deal. If we look at a Midwest labs test and we go down there to the boron number and parts per million, and it says 0.8 or less, we know we need boron, because we're suffering yield decrease. And let me say this, the majority well over 50% of the tests that I look at have a boron level of 0.3 or 0.4 or less. And so consequently, there is a huge need at it. We've got a friend up north there in north central, Iowa, Northwest Iowa. His name is Matt and Matt will tell you that when he applies boron as per the soil test, it's about 12 bushels to the acre. To pick up that 12 bushels, it's costing him about 10 or 11 bucks right now. And so anytime we can buy 12 bushels for 10 or $11, we probably should take advantage of that and jump right on it. It's one of those things that we can do. Plus, if you go with us, like you guys know in my desk pad, red ink, it says it's never wrong to do the right thing.


[00:03:56] And putting on every nutrient that we need is the right thing, loading up nutrients that we don't need, and just putting a bunch of them on and hope really is not a good method and it is not the right thing to do, but it is the right thing to do, to do the soil test, put on what we need. And especially this year guys, I was up early this morning and I was reading a lot of these fertilizer companies are saying, you need to buy anhydrous by map or dapper. Potash, you need to get it on this fall. If that's your fastball, that's what you do. And then you're probably right. Now, you guys know what my opinion of anhydrous, you know, my opinion of fall applied anhydrous. Putting it on now, so that you get it done to have a warm, wet winter so that there's none there in the spring and you have to reapply. It does not seem like a good idea, but that's a whole another story, but I am going to say this. I'm not convinced that this blowing on a lot of NPK is the secret to a totally happy life. I believe there are some things that we can do otherwise that will make us more money.


[00:04:54] I think we need to address the micronutrient deficiencies. We need to address things like boron, sulfur, manganese, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and especially copper. We're going to do a little bit on copper here in the future. But guys today, its boron. And the thing is that you cannot build it up. It doesn't come free in the acid rain anymore. We have to keep adding to it and you got to know this. We have put on some dry broadcast products. I'm not going to name anything. But we have put on dry broadcast products. We cannot get those to work. Not in this. We can't use elemental sulfur into the plant. We cannot get the dry broadcast boron into the plant.


[00:05:31] What we're looking for, our product is a complex boron. We put it on as a liquid. You can go on with your nitrogen. It can go on with your chemicals; it can go on two by two. It can go on any place except, you cannot go in the row trench. We don't want to put it in the seed trench there in the row. Any other way to put it on is fine. It can be foliar fed. A lot of our guys have such a big need, needing anywhere from five to eight pints of boron. And so they're putting on some early with pre-emerge or putting on some with post-emerge or putting on some when they side dress. And so it is a product that shows great response. It's the right thing to do for you. And if you're interested in this, feel free to give us a call. We'd be happy to talk any nutrient with you that you would like, 6 4 1 9 1 9 1 2 0 6, or you can send us a text message.


[00:06:18] Karen has already started a whole series of podcasts with growers, with results that they're getting and give those a listen. One that she put up with the individual from Minnesota that's up right now is excellent. This guy is really, really good. And he has some great things to share with you. Some good tips and I would invite you to do that. I hope you guys are having a better day.



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We’re a multi-generational family business based in Iowa working with farmers across the US. We take a hands-on approach using in depth soil testing, making recommendations down to ounces per acre of micronutrients. 💰 💰 💰

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Missed the previous episode? Here you go:


An Inspiring Account of a Grower Who Continues to Build a Farming Legacy for the Next Generations to Come Ep71