The following information is a Web Extra from the pages of Farm Journal. It corresponds with the article "The Secrets of Sulfur" You can find the article in the Farm Journal September issue.
Sulfur in Acid Rain
Facts About Sulfur
- Sulfur is found in all living organisms.
- Plants contain about as much sulfur as phosphorus (0.2% to 0.5% of dry matter).
- In nature sulfur can be found as the pure element, as sulfide gas and as sulfate minerals.
- Sulfur, contained in the protein keratin, gives strength to hair and feathers, and contributes to the odor when they are burned.
- Sulfur is responsible for the odor in onions that makes you cry.
- Sulfur is the tenth most abundant element in the universe.
- Sulfur is used to make black powder (old-fashioned gunpowder), in fungicides and insecticides and in the manufacture of matches and vulcanized rubber.
- The sources of the inorganic sulfur you apply are mainly the byproducts of cleaning sulfur out of coal, crude oil or natural gas.
- The Bible refers to sulfur as brimstone.
- Producing lignin and pectin
- Producing chlorophyll
- Metabolizing nitrogen
- .08 lb. by the grain
- .09 lb. by the by the stalk
Sulfur Management Tips
- Account for the acidity in your sulfur sources.
- Don’t apply sulfate sulfur in the fall to highly leachable soils.
- Sulfur uptake must be early in the spring.
- Elemental sulfur may not respond fast enough for spring application.
- Maintain the correct ratio between nitrogen and sulfur.
- Use tissue testing to check the ratio of nitrogen and sulfur in the plant.
- Corn requires about 1 lb. of sulfur per 14 lb. of available nitrogen.
- Organic matter is the main supplier of sulfur.
- Apply more sulfur if organic matter content is less than 3%.
- Apply more sulfur if soils are alkaline (above 7.5 pH) or acid (below 5.9 pH).
- With acid soils, applying lime is a better solution than applying more sulfur.