Dr. S.H. Chien, retired Principal Scientist-Soil Chemistry of the International Fertilizer Development Center, said that the reality of how granular elemental sulfur-enriched fertilizers behave in soils often differs widely from the assumptions people have of them.

In 2016, he and other authors published the results of greenhouse experiments and agronomic field trials pitting elemental sulfur-enriched commercial fertilizers against traditional ammonium sulfate. As explained in the May/June issue of the Agronomy Journal, they found that providing the elemental form of sulfur to crops delivers little benefit the year it is applied, and said farmers and crop advisors should be aware of those shortcomings.