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Nitrogen Phosphorus Sulfur Chloride pH

Sulfur (S) Fertility Management

Over the past 15 to 20 years, considerable research with sulfur fertilization has been conducted in Kansas. Positive yield responses have been noted on wheat - particularly where grown on low organic matter, sandy soils. Sulfur requirements depend on the difference between soil additions of this nutrient from precipitation, irrigation water, soil organic matter the amount of sulfur required by the wheat crop. The following equation may be used to help develop KSU sulfur fertilization guidelines for wheat:


S Rec = (YG x 0.6) (2.5 x % SOM ) Irrigation Water S Manure S Soil Test S


 YG is yield goal (bushel per acre)

CF is crop factor (0.6 pounds of S per bushel)

% SOM  is percent soil organic matter (2.5 pounds of S per % Soil Organic Matter)



Sulfur Deficiency Symptoms. Sulfur deficient fields exhibit a general yellowing and stunting of wheat plants. Sulfur deficiency may easily be confused with nitrogen deficiency. On wheat, older leaves tend to exhibit more yellowing than upper leaves for nitrogen deficiency. Sulfur deficiency generally results in the lower leaves remaining a more pale green. It is difficult to distinguish nitrogen deficiency from sulfur deficiency on wheat.

The upper photograph shows the general overall yellowing associated with sulfur deficiency of wheat. The lower photograph shows the general yellowing and stunting associated with sulfur deficiency in the field.



For a more detailed look at sulfur see "Sulfur in Kansas: Plant, Soil and Fertilizer Considerations," MF-2264.