Plant Nutrition

Sulphur Nutrient Info

Sulphur - Quick Facts

  • Sulphur is essential for synthesis of sulphur-containing amino acids and is therefore vital for protein synthesis.
  • Sulphur aids in seed production and producing the chlorophyll necessary for plants to carry out photosynthesis.
  • Sulphur aids in increased nitrogen use efficiency.
  • Sulphur is a component of vitamin B1 (particularly for cereals and legumes).
  • Important for production of innate plant defence substances (phytoalexines, glutathione).
  • Sulphur fertilization is increasingly common because higher yielding crops are taking up and removing more S from soil as harvested products.
  • Form used by plants: SO4+2 (sulphate)
  • Both solution- and adsorbed- sulphate are the forms available for plant use.


Sulphur - Role of Nutrient

  • Improves root growth and seed production.
  • Promotes nodule formation on legumes.
  • Required for synthesis of amino acids and proteins.
  • When used with Nitrogen, Sulphur leads to improved protein & milling quality.
  • Sulphur helps with vigorous plant growth and resistance to cold.


Sulphur - Nutrient in Soil

  • Coarse-textured soils that have low organic matter content, shallow soils or soils in which the topsoil has been removed by erosion will increase the risk of S deficiency.

Sulphur - Deficiency Symptons

  • Yellow-green color, very similar in appearance to N deficiency
  • Uniform chlorosis and yellowing on the younger leaves
  • In canola, a cupping and/or reddish or purple colouration on the underside of the leaves
  • Typical symptoms in oilseed rape are stunted growth, spoon-like arched leaves, pale yellow or white petals and pods can appear bladder-like and bloated.

Sulphur - Factors Affecting Deficiency

  • Factors that will reduce S availability to the plant:
    • Leaching of sulfate
    • Amount and type of soil colloids (higher clay = less availability)
    • Higher pH
    • Lower organic matter in soils
  • It is possible for sulphur to be temporarily fixed by microbial activity when they incorporate sulphur into fulvic acid and humic substances.
  • Under anaerobic conditions, the sulphate-ion can be reduced by bacteria to hydrogen sulphide which is unavailable for plants.
  • The risk of sulphur deficiency is high on lighter soils, especially after heavy rain, on soils with a poor structure and under any conditions which result in a restricted root system.
  • Excess sulphate reduces molybdenum uptake.

R3 Agronomic Platform

R3 Lifecycle: Roots > Reproduce > Ripen

Roots – The vegetative stage looks to develop vigorous, healthy roots to maximize nutrient acquisition from the soil. The end result is a healthy root rhizosphere.

Reproduce – Supply the essential nutrients at reproduction to help the plant maximize pollen viability, flowering, pollination, seed set and fruit development.

Ripen – Late season nutrition is vital to optimize the nutrient density and quality of the crop.

More about R3