Pressurized hot water and DTPA-Sorbitol are two relatively new soil boron (B) extraction methods with potential to replace the cumbersome hot water extraction. The objective of this research is to produce data in support of acceptance or rejection of these two alternative B extractions. The three soil tests were used to extract B from samples of calcareous sand and silt loam and limed, loamy fine sand treated with 10 levels of B and incubated for 7 and 28 d. As B application increased so did extractable B with each extraction method. High correlations (r of 0.977 to 0.999) were observed between extractable B and rate of B application with all three methods. Hot water generally extracted the least and pressurized hot water the most B regardless of soil type, rate of application or duration of incubation. Greenhouse and field experiments were conducted on one limed acid and two alkaline soils naturally low in B to test alfalfa response to B fertilizer. Values from the three soil extraction methods were correlated to yield, B tissue concentration and total B removal of alfalfa. In greenhouse studies with varying levels of soil applied B, highly significant relationships exist between extractable soil B and both tissue B concentration and total B removal. Correlations between yield and extractable soil B were impossible to obtain because of a lack of alfalfa yield responses to applied boron. All three methods accurately predict plant B tissue concentrations and total B removal. The field experiment produced a significant positive relationship between total alfalfa yield and extractable B using hot water and pressurized hot water extractions, but not using DTPA-Sorbitol. The results observed in this research support pressurized hot water extraction as the better of the two alternatives to replace hot water extraction in a broad range of soil types.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Plant and Wildlife Sciences



Date Submitted


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boron, soil extraction, pressurized hot water, DTPA-Sorbitol, soil incubation, alfalfa