Boron a Major Key for Fertilizers in the Palm Oil Industry

Regional Sales Manager’s Background

Weng Kee Ch'ng, Regional Sales Manager/Agronomist, Southeast Asia

Weng Kee is a seasoned agri-business professional currently handling commercial and technical functions for agriculture customers in Southeast Asia and China. He has worked in a variety of roles for stable, emerging, and start-up organizations, including:

  • Business development

  • Technical

  • Sales and marketing

  • Retail sales

In addition, Weng Kee has a successful record of establishing business and high performance teams.

He received his bachelor’s degree in biology/biological sciences from the Universiti Putra Malaysia and his master’s degree in food science and technology from the Universiti Sains Malysia.

1. As a leading supplier of borates, briefly share with us U.S. Borax’s, history and milestones in this industry.

U.S. Borax traces its roots to California’s Death Valley, where borate deposits were discovered in 1872. The first 20 mule team hauled borax 165 miles through Death Valley in 1883. Fully loaded with two ore wagons and a 1,200-gallon water wagon, the rig weighed 36.5 tons. Though the expansion of railways led to the 20 mule team’s retirement, the team has lived on for more than a century as a trademark for U.S. Borax.

Since 1924, we have shipped products from our facility in the Port of Los Angeles. The refinery and shipping operation produces and ships more than 36,000 tons of packaged goods and more than 300,000 tons of bulk material to customers in Europe, Malaysia, and China.

Today, U.S. Borax is acknowledged as the world leader in borate technology, research, and development.

With crinkled pinnae, the leaf bone shrinks. This is a sign of severe boron deficiency. Photo courtesy of U.S. Borax

2. How did U.S. Borax grow to a massive 1,700 locations globally? What is the current demand for the refined borates industry?

U.S. Borax supplies about one-third of the world’s need for refined borates. We have grown our business through our high standard for quality and purity, ensuring the best performance for growers and fertilizer manufacturers. Our technical, scientific, and agriculture experts are dedicated to continuous research and product improvement as well as a high level of personalized, customer service. The bottom line is that we care about our customers’ crops. That’s why U.S. Borax mines and refines only top-quality boron, free of unwanted contaminants.

Farmer applies Fertibor to palm oil plant. Photo courtesy of U.S. Borax

3. Borates are used in fertilizers as a mineral essential to plant growth. What are the advantages of having Boron in fertilizers?

As a micronutrient, boron is essential to plant growth. Adequate boron is necessary for proper absorption of macronutrients and for maintaining the integrity of plant cell walls.