Dear Wheat Producer:Wheat prices remain high and after a long drought in 2012, growers nationwide are relieved to be looking forward to a new season. As we shift our focus to the new crop of winter wheat, it's a great time to remember that small grains also need sulfur.Key Sulfur Facts:
An 80-bushel wheat crop removes 20 pounds of sulfur from the soil 8 pounds of sulfur in its grain and 12 pounds of sulfur in its straw.
- A 15:1 N:S ratio is ideal. If ratios reach 20:1, crops can experience sulfur deficiency even when soil sulfur levels are adequate.
- Ammonium sulfate delivers nitrogen in the ammonium form, which is more resistant to loss than urea or nitrate-N.
Sulfur Application Tips:
Tillering of winter cereals benefits from sulfur. Quick increases in biomass production create demand, while slow mineralization of organic matter under cool soil conditions restricts the crop's access to sulfur in soil organic matter.
- Research at North Carolina State University demonstrated that preplant applications of ammonium sulfate promoted fall tillering, increasing winter wheat yields by 13% on Coastal Plains soils.
- University of Maryland researchers found that spring topdress applications containing ammonium sulfate consistently improved winter wheat yields by 6 to 12 bushels per acre on silt loam and sandy loam soils.
Read more about Sulf-N ammonium sulfate and its benefits in wheat.
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Agronomy Manager, Honeywell