Corn School: Are your hybrids getting enough sulphur?

Breaking yield records has become routine for modern corn hybrids. Much of the credit goes to new and improved genetics, but those bin-busting yields also require more nutrients, and that demand extends well beyond N, P, and K.

“As we continue to raise the yield bar we need to start looking at micronutrients with a bigger magnifying glass,” says Steph Kowalski, agronomy lead for Agromart. When it comes to corn, sulphur is at the top of her micronutrient checklist. On this episode of RealAgriculture’s Corn School, Kowalski shares research from the University of Illinois to demonstrate a corn plant’s need for sulphur throughout the season — both early and late.

“When we’re looking at pushing yields north of 180 bushels we’re looking at 23 to 25 pounds, and half of that is taken up by silking,” she says.

In the video, Kowalski discusses the physical appearance of sulphur deficiency in corn — general yellowing and stunting of plants — and what growers should be looking for when assessing soil tests to help diagnose shortfalls. She also shares nutrient planning tips to ensure sulphur is available to the plant throughout the growing season.

“We need to have something in our starter fertilizer, liquid or dry, and we need to keep spoon-feeding it throughout the season whether it’s through a topdress or sidedress application,” she says.

Click here for more Corn School episodes.

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