29 November 2018
Sulphur is an important nutrient for all crops, it is the precursor to proteins which are of course the building blocks of yield.
Due to lack of sulphur from atmospheric deposition (0-12kg SO3/ha/year) there is a shortfall which can be filled with organic manures and of course mineral fertiliser. Organic manures have an inconsistent amount sulphur therefore tend to cause more variability across a field. Also they are applied in the autumn or early spring when the crop isn’t able to utilise the sulphur fraction.
Even though the importance of sulphur is well known, there are still growers who don’t apply any. The relationship between sulphur and nitrogen is a close one, with several processes within the plant requiring both nutrients to work efficiently. If you are trying to increase your nitrogen use efficiency then having an adequate supply of sulphur is a must.
Sulphur, like nitrogen, leaches readily from the soil so the source and the time you apply it is as important as the amount. Applying your sulphur as you would nitrogen, split between at least 2 or 3 applications means that the sulphur is less likely to be lost (via leaching) before being taken up by the plant.
When it comes to timing then applying sulphur in the autumn is a no-no. Due to winter rainfall the likelihood of that sulphur being there in the spring is minimal. Therefore applications should be in the spring, along with nitrogen using an NS or NPKS product. YaraBela Axan (27%N + 9%SO3) contains calcium sulphate which is highly soluble and therefore reaches the roots quickly.
From Yara trials, sulphur gives an average yield benefit of 0.85t/ha for wheat which at November prices for gives a ROI of 4.6:1. For oilseed rape the yield benefit is 0.5t/ha giving an ROI of 3.5:1.
Read more about YaraBela nitrate + sulphur fertilisers >