Evaluation of Methods Proposed by ICARDA and the Soil Science Society of America for Determination of Soil Available Boron

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Research Associate Professor, Soil and Water Research Institute, AREEO, Karaj, Iran

2 Ph.D Student, Department of Soil Science and Engineering, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, University of Tehran, Iran


Because the range between boron (B) deficiency and toxicity thresholds in soils for many plants is very short, accurate evaluation of available soil B status by soil testing is necessary for proper use of B fertilizer. This study was conducted to compare ICARDA and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) procedures as the most commonly used methods to determine available soil B. A total of 20 surface soils with different physical and chemical properties were selected and their available B concentration was measured by ICP method and the colorimetric procedures proposed by ICARDA and SSSA. The effect of activated carbon application and the presence of suspended colloids on B concentration was also investigated. Mean available B concentration in the soils for ICARDA and SSSA methods by ICP were 2.59 and 2.86 mg/kg, whereas those by azomethine-H were 2.43 and 2.69 mg/kg, respectively. The relationship between B measured by ICP and azomethine-H for SSSA indicated a higher correlation ( ) and a better fit to 1:1 line than ICARDA ( ). Mean B concentrations were 2.86 mg/kg using hot 0.02 M  and 2.84 mg/kg using hot water. The use of activated carbon decreased B in extracts significantly. The mean of available B extracted from the soils using hot water with carbon was 2.59 mg/kg, whereas it was 2.84 mg/kg without carbon. Use of 0.2, 0.4 and 0.6 g carbon per 40 ml of B solutions with different initial concentrations yielded the mean B recovery of 104.9, 100.4 and 97.6%, respectively. Because of suspended colloids, B concentrations in extracts filtered through Whatman 40 filter-paper were higher than those filtered through Whatman 42. Without the use of carbon, predicted error in B determination due to color in extract ranged from 0 to 0.88 mg kg-1. Generally, the SSSA method measured available soil B more accurate than ICARDA and it is therefore recommended to use.


Main Subjects

Aitken, R., Jeffrey, A., and Compton, B. (1987). Evaluation of selected extractants for boron in some Queensland soils. Soil Research, 25(3), 263-273.
Baker, A. (1964). Modifications in the curcumin procedure for the determination of boron in soil extracts. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 12, 367-370.
Basson, W., Boehmer, R., and Stanton, D. (1969). An automated procedure for the determination of boron in plant tissue. Analyst, 94(1125), 1135-1141.
Berger, K., and Truog, E. (1939). Boron determination in soils and plants. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Analytical Edition, 11(10), 540-545.
Berger, K., and Truog, E. (1940). Boron deficiencies as revealed by plant and soil tests. Journal of the American Society of Agronomy, 32, 297-301.
Berger, K., and Truog, E. (1944). Boron tests and determination for soils and plants. Soil Science, 57(1), 25-36.
Cartwright, B., Tiller, K., Zarcinas, B., and Spouncer, L. (1983). The chemical assessment of the boron status of soils. Soil Research, 21(3), 321-332.
Dible, W., Truog, E., and Berger, K. (1954). Boron determination in soils and plants. Analytical Chemistry, 26(2), 418-421.
Estefan, G. (2013). Methods of soil, plant, and water analysis: a manual for the West Asia and North Africa region. In: International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).
Farahbakhsh, M. (2007). Application of activated carbon to decolorize soil extract and its effect on the amount of boron measured by Azomethine-H method. Paper presented at the 10th Iranian Soil Science Congress, Karaj. (In Farsi)
Goldberg, S., and Suarez, D. L. (2014). A new soil test for quantitative measurement of available and adsorbed boron. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 78(2), 480-485.
Gupta, S., and Stewart, J. (1978). An automated procedure for determination of boron in soils, plants, and irrigation waters. Schweizerische landwirtschaftliche Forschung. La Recherche agronomique en Suisse, 17, 51-55.
Gupta, U. (1979). Some factors affecting the determination of hot-water-soluble boron from Podzol soils using azomethine-H. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 59(3), 241-247.
Gupta, U. C., Jame, Y., Campbell, C., Leyshon, A., and Nicholaichuk, W. (1985). Boron toxicity and deficiency: a review. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 65(3), 381-409.
Hatcher, J. T., and Wilcox, L. (1950). Colorimetric determination of boron using carmine. Analytical Chemistry, 22(4), 567-569.
Hettiarachchi, G. M., and Gupta, U. C. (2008). Boron, molybdenum, and selenium. Soil sampling and methods of analysis, 95-108.
Joshi, C., Pachauri, S. P., Srivastava, P. C., and Shukla, A. K. (2014). Evaluation of different soil extractants for assessing B availability to maize (Zea mays L.). Spanish Journal of Soil Science, 4(3), 254-264.
Keren, R. (1996). Boron. Methods of Soil Analysis Part 3—Chemical Methods, 603-626.
Keren, R., and Bingham, F. (1958). Boron in water, soils, and plants. In Advances in Soil Science (pp. 229-276): Springer.
Lindsay, W. (1979). Chemical equilibria in soils: Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.
Lindsay, W., and Cox, F. (1985). Micronutrient soil testing for the tropics. In Micronutrients in tropical food crop production (pp. 169-200): Springer.
Matsi, T., Antoniadis, V., and Barbayiannis, N. (2000). Evaluation of the NH4HCO3‐DTPA soil test for assessing boron availability to wheat. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 31(5-6), 669-678.
Parker, D., and Gardner, E. (1981). The determination of hot‐water‐soluble boron in some acid Oregon soils using a modified azomethine‐H procedure. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 12(12), 1311-1322.
Peck, T., and Soltanpour, P. (1990). The principles of soil testing. Soil testing and plant analysis, 3, 1-9.
Ponnamperuma, F., Cayton, M., and Lantin, R. (1981). Dilute hydrochloric acid as an extractant for available zinc, copper and boron in rice soils. Plant and Soil, 61(3), 297-310.
Sarkar, D., Mandal, B., and Mazumdar, D. (2008). Plant availability of boron in acid soils as assessed by different extractants. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 171(2), 249-254.
Singh, K., and Sinha, H. (1976). Availability of boron in relation to certain soil properties. Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science, 24(4), 403-408.
Strawn, D. G., Bohn, H. L., and O'Connor, G. A. (2015). Soil chemistry: John Wiley & Sons.
Wear, J. I., and Patterson, R. (1962). Effect of Soil pH and Texture on the Availability of Water-Soluble Boron in the Soil. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 26(4), 344-346.
Wolf, B. (1971). The determination of boron in soil extracts, plant materials, composts, manures, water and nutrient solutions. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 2(5), 363-374.
Wolf, B. (1974). Improvements in the azomethine‐H method for the determination of boron. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 5(1), 39-44.
WRB, I. (2014). World reference base for soil resources 2014. International soil classification system for naming soils and creating legends for soil maps (106).