Sulphur (S) - soil and crop

Sulphur is an essential component of protein formation and as such is important for grass growth, needed in larger quantities. With sufficient Sulphur, nitrogen utilization is better and lower nitrate levels are found. Sulphur deficiency, like nitrogen, leads to lower dry matter yields. Deficiencies occur mainly in the first cuts of the season.

Sulphur supply has declined significantly in the last 10 years due to lower Sulphur emissions from industry and little use of Sulphur fertilizers. Sulphur supply now occurs primarily through the mineralization of organic matter. The other minor supply items are deposition (precipitation from the air), capillary rise from the soil and animal manure and, as an outflow item, leaching.

The most important supply item 'mineralization' can be determined by having an S-total determination carried out via the Fertilization Manager from Eurofins Agro. The S-total determines how much Sulphur is available in the first three cuts, called SLV (Sulphur supplying capacity, similar in structure to NLV). If the SLV, along with the smaller supply and removal items, is lower than the needs of the grass, then a supplementary application of fertilizer is required. The required amount is advised over the first two cuts. No shortages are then to be expected for the rest of the season. 

A product with a high Sulphur content is potato press fiber (>10 g/kg dry matter). Corn silage, CCM and pressed beet pulp contain low levels, while grass and grass silage are between (3-4 g/kg dry matter).

Sulphur content (g/kg dry matter); Eurofins Agro 2009-2013
  Fresh grass Grass silage Maize silage Lucerne
Average 3.5 3.1 1.0 1.7
Target range - 2.0-3.5 1.1-1.6 -


Fertilization Manager