Ferrie Answers Farmers’ Questions About Sulfur

December 19, 2018 09:44 AM
 
This time of year, Farm Journal Field Agronomist, Ken Ferrie starts fielding questions from farmers who are starting to plan for the next season.

This time of year, Farm Journal Field Agronomist, Ken Ferrie starts fielding questions from farmers who are starting to plan for the next season. In this edition of the Boots In The Field Report, Ferrie addresses a variety of questions he’s had pertaining to sulfur.

Ferrie, who owns Crop-Tech Consulting, Inc. near Heyworth, Ill., says the right product—sulfate versus elemental sulfur—and the correct timing, placement and rate will need to vary depending on the situation. "With sulfur, there’s no one-size-fits-all method of treatment," Ferrie says.

Pay the carbon penalty. If a sulfur deficiency shows up in corn shortly after emergence, the cause might be the carbon penalty. The carbon penalty occurs when soil sulfur levels are adequate, but there is an abundant supply of old crop residue, as with continuous corn. With all that food available, microbial populations explode. Because the microbes use sulfur, they temporarily immobilize the supply in the soil. That sulfur becomes available again later, after the microbes die and decompose, but the plants experience a deficiency through six or seven growth stages.

Sulfur deficiencies early in the growing season are especially troublesome. "Plants need sulfur throughout the vegetative growth stages. Since sulfur is not mobile in the plant, early uptake is crucial. A deficiency at that time will cause stunting and shortened internodes. So be aggressive about correcting early-season deficiencies," Ferrie says.

Listen below for more of Ferrie’s sulfur insights and recommendations.

Back to news


Comments

 
Spell Check

Aj
Eaton, IN
12/19/2018 06:22 PM
 

  He keeps calling highly leachable soils (sand) light when sandy soils are heavy. How does this guy have any credibility left after that mix up????

 
 
Tom
Eagan, MN
12/20/2018 01:27 PM
 

  AJ, When he uses “light vs. heavy” he is referring to soil organic matter, not the bulk density of the soil.

 
 

Corn College TV Education Series

2014_Team_Shot_with_Logo

Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!

Markets

Market Data provided by QTInfo.com
Brought to you by Beyer
Close