Boron products are widely used in agriculture and forestry and also used as fertilizer and in combating weeds and insects. Basically they are used;
Fertilizer: As micronutrient; for application in lower concentrations through application by itself or as mixture
Herbicides: for application in high concentrations in the control of weeds/undesirable vegetation
Pesticides: In insect/pest control; for application in high concentrations
Wood protection: for application in high concentrations
Boron is an element which must be contained in the soil for plant, and plays an important role in the growth, development, fruition and nucleation of plants since it helps moving of the foods and water within the plants. Although the boron needs of plants are very low in quantity, product development and yield of plants are adversely affected in case of a lack of boron in the soil.
As fertilizers, borax decahydrate and borax pentahydrate are the most widely used boron products. Sodium borates are successfully applied by both directly applying to the soil and, due to their easy solubility, spraying on the plants. Colemanite, a calcium borate compound among natural borates, are especially used in sandy soil due to its low solubility and thus remains in the soil for a longer period compared to the sodium borates.
Compared to the conventional boron products such as borax decahydrate and borax pentahydrate, disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT) specifically produced for agricultural applications is the most preferred product in agricultural applications for its much more rapid resolution property. Borons, as one of the application methods, are given directly into the soil in solid form and can be taken by the roots of plants by being dissolved in humid environment of the soil. However, boron products can also be applied through spraying them on crops since they are better taken through leaves of certain plants and spraying is a more successful way of fertilizing in certain cases. The amount of boron to be applied to the soil varies depending on the plant, fertilizing method, rainfall and lime and organic matter content of the soil.
Boron used at low rates is necessary for the plants and may has a toxic effect at high concentrations. Due to this aspect of boron, it is used in high doses as herbicides in the weed control. It is especially used effectively for cleaning the weeds in the road and rail edges. Boron weed cleaners are produced with borax and boric acid and are generally mixed with sodium chloride and other toxic chemicals.
Similarly, boron products are used as pesticide to combat insect/pests and as fungicide to protect the wooden materials from harmful organisms such as fungi.