February 8, 2024 5:21 pm Published by LauraE
depleted sulphur reserves in soils

Depleted Sulphur reserves in soils

Recent wet weather has led to depleted sulphur reserves in soils. The excessive rainfall has leached soil reserves of sulphur, meaning farmers need to address applications of sulphur when applying fertiliser and nutrition this Spring, particularly those growing on lighter soils.

Sulphur Levels in Soils

Sulphur was traditionally supplied to UK soils via atmospheric deposition, however due to legislative changes and pollution prevention, natural air deposition has dramatically declined.

In it’s plant-available form, the nutrient is very mobile in the soil meaning wet winter and early spring conditions leave depleted sulphur reserves in soils.

Why do I need Sulphur for my crop?

Sulphur is a key element for healthy crop growth. Whilst Nitrogen is a growth promoter, Sulphur works as a growth regulator, effectively balancing the manufacture of sugars and proteins in leaf tissue with the demand from these materials throughout the plant.

Consequently, Sulphur plays a crucial role in maintaining green leaf area, growth rates, building proteins and delaying senescence. Low Sulphur levels reduce Nitrogen metabolism, leaf expansion and plant development.

Sulphur helps to:

  • Maintain green leaf area
  • Improve growth rates
  • Promote the uptake of Nitrogen
  • Maximise protein levels in milling wheat


Including Sulphur in your Nitrogen application

Both OMEX Nitroflo liquid nitrogen fertiliser and Multiflo NPK liquid fertilisers are available with Sulphur, to promote efficient use of the fertiliser applied.

Including sulphur alongside your liquid fertiliser application will promote nitrogen use efficiency and ensure your crop has sulphur to ensure healthy growth.

A 2019 nitrogen plus sulphur fertiliser trial demonstrated an additional 1t/ha raise in grain yield where sulphur was included in with the Nitroflo application, compared to using a straight nitrogen grade with no sulphur.

Click here for how much Sulphur you should apply with your bulk liquid fertiliser application.

How to identify and treat a Sulphur deficiency

With depleted sulphur reserves in soils and reduced atmospheric supply, crops are susceptible to Sulphur deficiency. A sulphur deficiency in the crop can typically be identified by characteristic yellowing of the leaves. A FACTS qualified advisor or crop nutrition agronomist should always check your crop to ensure it’s not encountering other issues such as disease or pest damage.

If sulphur hasn’t been remedied at the bulk fertiliser application stage, farmers can consider a dose of foliar nutrition of sulphur. Sulphur can be applied in foliar form direct to the leaf through Sulphomex.

Monitoring crop Sulphur levels

As part of an efficient and sustainable farming operation, it’s crucial you monitor the nutrition level of your crops so you’re not under or over applying nutrients as part of your integrated crop management plan, also known as an ICM plan.

Sulphur levels, along with 16 other key nutrients can be monitored utilising SAP analysis.

Speak to us about depleted sulphur reserves in soils

OMEX offer national coverage, with local FACTS qualified knowledge. We’re here to work with you to understand what nutrients your crop needs to thrive. From soils to fertiliser application and SAP sampling beyond you can speak to us here about producing a high quality and high yielding crop.

Growing With OMEX

OMEX are the leading liquid fertiliser suppliers within the UK, offering sulpur with all bulk fertiliser products, and a range of foliar products containing sulphur. OMEX employ an international R&D team with specialist facilities located within the UK, including a dedicated greenhouse and laboratory, and an independently managed farm trials area. This ongoing research looks into a number of issues facing UK farmers, such as the improved utilisation of sulphur. OMEX have been providing farmers with innovative solutions for almost 50 years, and now operate in over 85 countries.


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