One question that I commonly get asked this time of year is why do we need to apply sulfur when my soil tests indicate there is plenty available. The reason we apply sulfur to corn and wheat is to help meet the crop's sulfur needs early in the growing season when root development is slow and plants struggle to get enough sulfur. Sulfur deficiency is seen much more in no till farming because organic matter is a major source of sulfur and mineralization is slower in no till. Sulfate is mobile in soil so it can be applied like nitrogen. The two main forms of sulfur are dry ammonium sulfate (AMS) and liquid ammonium thiosulfate (ATS). The most common way to apply sulfur is to blend AMS with other dry fertilizers when they are applied, or apply liquid ATS with 28%. Sulfur is very toxic to young seedlings and liquid ATS should never be applied in furrow. If ATS is to be applied with a planter is should be applied away from the seed. I have seen small amounts of sulfur applied in furrow in wheat with no stand reductions, but caution should be used. A general recommendation would be to apply 10-15 lbs of actual sulfur to corn and 15-20 lbs of actual to wheat.
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Applying Sulfur Fertilizer
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