Boron in Soil
Published: June 10, 2016
What’s the deal with boron?
Well it’s a compound that can naturally be found through the weathering process of parent rock/minerals as well as decay of plant material. Where its not natural? Boron is often found with produced water, agricultural sources such as fertilizer, and industrial sources. What’s the concern? Boron is an essential micro-nutrient for plants, but like anything not taken in moderation, can have negative effects.
Formerly the boron guideline in Alberta was based on “professional judgement”. One problem with that, background concentrations in Alberta often exceeded the former guideline of 2 ppm because of our clay soils, and well that’s not fair! So for the last 8 years, a new boron guideline has been in the making, one with risk-based criteria (lots of laboratory work and modelling). The catch, the use of a different analytical method that is considered more representative of available boron. So while there is a perceivable industry sigh of relief in 2016 with a release of new guidelines and methods…there’s also an adjustment and re-evaluation period going on.
If you’d like to know more about the development of the new guidelines you can visit the Alberta Upstream Petroleum Research website: http://auprf.ptac.org/soil-and-groundwater-2/soil-and-groundwater/metals/boron/