Sulfur of growing importance to crops

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The presence of sulfur within a balanced fertility program is more important than ever, as growers and researchers are seeing a rise in S deficiencies. The Mosaic Company encourages growers to take action and support their high-yield systems with supplemental sulfur fertilizer, keeping the 4R’s in mind.  

Sulfur supports the essential crop nutrients N, P and K. Its presence is necessary for chlorophyll and vitamin synthesis, and helps increase quality protein formation. Many new reports, including research from the University of Illinois, Kansas State University and the University of Minnesota, are showing corn-belt crops and soils are S deficient. Today’s fields are suffering due to low organic matter soils, reduced S deposition from rain, and intensively managed high-yield systems that remove more S than ever before.

Oscar Perez, western region senior agronomist with The Mosaic Company, explains what sulfur deficiency looks like. “Many farmers are seeing upper leaf yellowing (near growth), sandy upper knolls, low-protein grain, and cupped leaves in crops like canola,” says Perez.  Similar visual symptoms appear in corn, with yellow or white streaks along the leaf veins.  Growers must include supplemental sulfur in their balanced fertility program before it’s too late. 

“If you wait to see deficiency, chances are you’ve already lost yield,” Perez warns. “We are finding S deficiencies where we did not find them before.” “However,” adds Perez, “we know adding an adequate balance of sulfur boosts yields long before growers notice any deficiency symptoms.”

Mosaic’s MicroEssentials SZ was designed with season-long sulfur availability and the 4R’s in mind, noted Perez. For more information on sulfur, you can visit www.Back-to-Basics.net.


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