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Sulfur for Corn and Soybean Production

January 6, 2020
Sulfur is a micronutrient  that has not had much attention brought to it until recent years.  Twenty years ago, yields were less than those of today, and we were getting enough sulfur from air pollution to take care of our needs.  Some scientists say that before sulfur was taken out of fuel and other air pollutants, we were getting close to 10 pounds of sulfur /acre with rain.  Sulfur is taken up in higher amounts as yield increases, which means that with the yield of our grain today, compared to 20 years ago, and very little sulfur being emitted from emission, we must now apply sulfur to maximize corn and soybean production.  Many scientists will agree that a shortage of Sulfur to a plant can be just as yield limiting as nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium deficiencies.
Sulfur is mobile in the soil profile making it a difficult to test.  Soil tests give a general baseline for sulfur in the soil profile, but are not 100% accurate.  The most precise test is an early season plant tissue test, but may be a little to late for many options of sulfur applications. 

Yellowing of corn and soybeans on new foliage is a tell-tale sign of sulfur deficiencies. Many people often mistake sulfur deficiencies for nitrogen deficiency in corn.  The main difference between the two is nitrogen causes corn to turn yellow from the bottom up and sulfur deficiencies are shown by yellowing corn from the top down. Soybeans show yellow to yellow-striped leaves on new foliage at the top of the plant, giving the entire area that is deficient in sulfur a yellow cast as one glances across a field. Soybeans are slower to fix nitrogen when sulfur deficient as well.
We have several options at SFG:
  1. Super Grow is a great source of sulfur containing 80 units/ton,
  2.  Sulfur 90% (elemental sulfur),
  3.  Calsul (gypsum),
  4. Mycrosync, to name a few options available.
The options contain different forms of sulfur that have varying availability between them. 
Talk to your local SFG agronomist to discuss sulfur needs on your farm.
Posted: 1/6/2020 6:00:00 AM by Rob Matherly | with 0 comments

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