The Agronomists, Ep 101: Strategies for sulphur with Colin Elgie and John Heard

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Nitrogen can’t have all the fun — sometimes we need to bring in the lesser-knowns of the NPKS party.

For this episode of The Agronomists, we dive in to the world of sulphur: why crops need it, why farmers have to add it, and how to diagnose and correct a deficiency. Our experts are Colin Elgie, with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, and John Heard, with Manitoba Agriculture.

Catch the next episode of The Agronomists, February 27 at 8 pm E — It’s all about spring management of cover crops!

Thank you to our sponsors: ADAMA Canada, and FMC Preschool!

SUMMARY:

  • All about sulphur
  • Is it spring, or is it global warming? – Dick Cheney
  • Why is sulphur fertilizer use on the rise? Because we solved acid rain
  • Atmospheric change leading to change in sulphate deposition
  • Acid rain; fence line barometer
  • Manure, variable source of sulphur
  • Accredited soil test for sulphur in eastern Canada timeline
  • Western Canadian soil tests show if sulphur is low you know to apply it but if it low its a big question mark
  • Sulphur movement, leaching, accumulation, and precipitate
  •  WheatPete clip on sulphur forms, bioavailability, and how much to apply
  • ATS performance and application
  • What to apply to resuscitate a wheat crop
  • How to decide if sulphur should be applied?
  • Application timing: spring is where it is at for the east
  • Elemental sulphur vs. sulphate
  • New formulations of elemental sulphur being developed to have more rapid uptake
  • Sulphur and the slug that is corn, depends on organic matter and seeding time
  • Moisture washes out sulphur into subsoil therefore additional application may be necessary if symptoms are visible
  • Ratio of sulphur and carbon in organic matter is beneficial and depending on crop
  • Manure, not all is created equal
  • Alfalfa sucks up the sulphur! About 6 pounds of S per tonne removed
  • Bentonite sulphur, pros & cons — elemental S
  • Beans, beans the magical fruit; inconsistent sulphur response
  • Tissue tests, beneficial when paired with soil tests
  • Tissues tests are becoming more accurate, but are not prescriptive
  • Sulphur deficiency symptoms in canola — sometimes puckering, definitely will show up later in the season
  • Hands on, DIY field tests

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