Farmers applying granulated elemental sulfur may be waiting an entire cropping cycle before their crops get the sulfur they need - a problem that could be costing them yield and money. Sulfur is a vital component of chlorophyll and a wide range of amino acids, enzymes and proteins required for plant growth, but can only be taken up by plants in the sulfate sulfur form. Elemental sulfur must be oxidized into sulfate, a process carried out by soil bacteria that chemically combines sulfur atoms with oxygen and water, before it is available to crops.