Particle size plays in sulphur availability, year over year

Photo: Joanna Follings, OMAFRA

The application of sulphur fertilizer involves a key question: when does the crop need the sulphur? Sulphur application might not be a common one, but for both the east and the west, it’s one that requires long-term planning as some products require weathering and microbial breakdown to release the nutrient.

There are a few options to choose from, including elemental S (the longest to be released) all the way to sulphate forms (immediately available, at least in part). But there are products hitting the in-between stage that are showing some promise, says RealAgriculture agronomist Peter Johnson.

Recent research by Dan Kaiser at the University of Minnesota suggests that newer products, such as “micronized” elemental sulphur, do speed up the availability of S in the application year and the year after.  When looking at elemental S, potassium sulphate, and a micronized elemental product, Kaiser’s work suggests that the smaller particle size of these new products does increase the availability, possibly adding a new option for growers in shorter or drier climates.

Below, hear more from Johnson on S management, including if the ratio to nitrogen matters.

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