Farmers Following an Annual Elemental Sulphur Fertilizer Plan Benefit in Times of Higher Prices.
“You put money in the bank in good times, and you have built-up savings to draw from. It’s especially useful when things get lean.”
It’s an analogy that independent agronomist Ray Dowbenko uses to describe the benefit of building up sulphur levels through an ongoing elemental sulphur fertilizer management plan.
Dowbenko says those who have been following this strategy see their investment truly pay off in years when fertilizer prices have climbed to near-record levels.
“Those who’ve been regularly putting down a high-quality degradable bentonite sulphur such as those sold by Tiger-Sul or Keg River have the flexibility to maybe take their foot off the accelerator in these lean times.”
An investment that’s paying off.
Repeat applications of elemental sulphur – sulphur stacking – are often recommended in fields that are prone to sulphur deficiency, or on agricultural land that requires acidification to adjust pH levels. It may also be a standard management practice in fields used to grow crops with a high sulphur demand.
The bank analogy comes from the fact that elemental sulphur won’t leach or volatilize (a challenge with sulphate sulphur fertilizers). It remains in an inert form and slowly breaks down with the presence of moisture and soil-borne microbes that convert the sulphur to plant-available sulfate.
“That sulphur you bought, applied, and put in the bank over the past few years at a much lower price now looks like a very smart investment today. Unfortunately, if you need to address a deficiency now, you’re paying top dollar at current prices,” Dowbenko says.
He adds that those who have sulphur-deficient fields can’t afford to ignore it unless they are prepared to sacrifice yield.
Keg River and Tiger-Sul: Consistent performance.
The leading degradable sulphurs for annual management programs are Keg85S™ & Keg90S™ (by Keg River Chemical) and Tiger 85CR and Tiger90CR (by Tiger-Sul). Both brands are known for using premium quality clays. This ensures a higher degree of consistency when it comes to the ability of the pastille to effectively break down, which facilitates a more complete conversion to sulphate.
Stacking applications have a cumulative effect. In fact, after several years it’s possible to build sulphur levels to a point where immediate sulphur sources (such as AMS) are no longer required. (Learn more).
Dowbenko says agronomists are happy to see farmers succeed.
“It’s nice to see those who’ve invested in sulphur management get rewarded for their efforts.”