Corn School: Time to start talking NPK and S

The N-P-K conversation – nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium – is the focus of most corn nutrient management discussions. But is it time for the letter S (sulphur) to be a routine part of that conversation?

In this edition of RealAgriculture Corn School, AGRIS Co-operative agronomist Dale Cowan is joined by crop sales specialist Mike Veenema to discuss the growing incidence of sulphur deficient corn fields in Ontario.

“Industrial emitters have cleaned up their stacks and we’ve taken sulphur out of diesel fuel,” notes Cowan, and that means there’s much less sulphur in the air to be deposited in the soil by rain. As Cowan and Veenema demonstrate in this video, low sulphur can impact a growing corn crop in a number of ways, including limiting nitrogen uptake and efficiency.

“In Ontario, we’ve been pretty good about talking about NPK… but as sulphur deficiency starts to increase in its incidence and severity, we’re really going to have to start talking about NPKS as the four primary nutrients,” says Cowan.

Click here for more Corn School episodes


Bernard Tobin

Bernard Tobin is Real Agriculture's Ontario Field Editor. AgBern was raised on a dairy farm near St. John's, Newfoundland. For the past two decades, he has specialized in agricultural communications. A Ryerson University journalism grad, he kicked off his career with a seven-year stint as Managing Editor and Field Editor for Farm and Country magazine. He has received six Canadian Farm Writers' Federation awards for journalism excellence. He's also worked for two of Canada's leading agricultural communications firms, providing public relations, branding and strategic marketing. Bern also works for Guelph-based Synthesis Agri-Food Network and talks the Real Dirt on Farming.


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