March 12, 2014 12:00 am Published by LauraE

12 March 2014

Nutritional Agronomy Note: Sulphur for improved skin finish

Sulphur for improved skin finish

w232_3015913_sprayer2While planning the NPKMg application for this year’s potato crop, don’t forget to include the sulphur.

At the recent OMEX breakfast meetings, well known and respected independent agronomist, Denis Buckley, referred to a gap in the knowledge on the sulphur nutritional requirement for potatoes but conceded that if organic manures have been applied, the crop would be covered for any sulphur requirement if it existed.


Like all plants, potatoes have a requirement for sulphur, amongst other roles, to ensure efficient utilisation of nitrogen. In the absence of manure application, Omex therefore recommend at least 25kg/ha SO3. An extensive series of trials over many years has also established benefits from application of micronised sulphur in terms of skin finish.


w407_4456664_scab2005Applying micronised sulphur reduces the pH in the ridge, making the environment more suited to the growth of potatoes and less attractive for the development of common scab. Rates of 50 – 200 kg/ha S have been shown to reduce ridge pH, increase micronutrient availability and reduce the incidence of common scab.


The ideal carrier for micronised sulphur is suspension fertilisers, offering accurate application of the fine particles of sulphur, ensuring even coverage across the field and rapid oxidation once incorporated in the soil.
For an independent review of the role of micronised sulphur click here .

This year the OMEX breakfast meetings included presentations from a number of respected independent agronomists and researchers, and featured an overview of the most recent trials results on a range a crops including potatoes. You can read some of the presentations by visiting Agriculture on

Andy Eccles

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