Soybean response to starter fertilizer containing sulfur

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

There is widespread concern about potential sulfur (S) deficiencies in corn and soybeans in the North Central region. Sulfur is relatively immobile within the plant, so symptoms usually appear in the new growth. Atmospheric deposition used to supply a considerable amount of plant available S (about 8-15 pounds per acre annually), but with the implementation of the Clean Air Act, this amount has significantly decreased.

Another important source of S is the soil organic matter. When organic matter decomposes, S is released as a sulfate ion into the soil solution. In Michigan, sulfur deficiencies are most likely to occur on coarse-textured soils with low organic matter. Other factors that may contribute to the need for supplemental S include increased crop removal rates in intensive cropping systems and lack of S impurities in major fertilizer sources.

In 2013, an on-farm research project was conducted in Perry, Mich., where Access starter fertilizer containing 17 percent S was banded 2x2 at planting at the rate of 2 quarts per acre and compared with untreated. The plots were 12 rows wide at 30-inch row spacing. The two treatments were randomized and replicated four times. The trial was planted on May 26, 2013. The soil was a Boyer sandy loam with a pH of 6.2, Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) of 5.1 meq/100g and soil organic matter 1.5 percent. Syngenta S29-V2 Brand Avicta complete soybean bean variety was used and the planting population was 135,000 seeds per acre. The previous crop was corn and seed was treated with inoculant prior to planting. Uppermost fully developed trifoliate leaf prior to flowering was sampled July 15 for nutrient analysis and soybeans were harvested Oct. 12.

In addition to S, Access also contains micronutrients iron (Fe) 0.25 percent, manganese (Mn) 0.05 percent and zinc (Zn) 0.05 percent.

click image to zoom The yield difference between the Access and untreated treatments was not statistically significant (p<0.05, Table 1). Sulfur and micronutrient levels in the foliar tissue also were not significantly different (p<0.05 percent). For soybeans, the S sufficiency range is between 0.20 to 0.40 percent. Both treatments were within this range.

This site was a mineral soil with low CEC and low organic matter where the likelihood of S deficiency was high. However, the expected responses from S containing starter fertilizer on soybean yield and sulfur uptake were not evident in 2013. A point of noticeable interest was the inability to achieve a substantial increase in S uptake in the Access treated plots over the untreated. Perhaps testing a rate higher than 2 quarts per acre in the starter or other S-containing fertilizer sources should be considered.

Application timing and placement are other factors that affect nutrient uptake. However since both treatments were within the established S sufficiency range, the effects of any further increases in S uptake on soybean yield is a matter of conjecture at present. Additional information on nutrient sufficiency ranges is found in the Michigan State University Extension Bulletin E-486, “Secondary and micronutrients for vegetables and field crops.”

This study was funded by the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee. The author wishes to thank Will Willson, soybean producer from Perry, Mich.; Brian Martindale, Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizer dealer in St. Johns, Mich; and Mike Staton, senior MSU Extension educator, for their support and collaboration in this study.


Prev 1 2 Next All



Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


Tube Series (TS) Conveyors

USC’s Tube Series Conveyors combine the gentleness of the signature Seed Series with the traditional stability of a tube-style conveyor, ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form