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.

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