Benefits of Prolonged Release of Sulfur in Soil

Sulfur is key to plant growth, with an important relationship with nitrogen. However, it is prone to leaching, taking it beyond the reach of crop roots.

October 13, 2021
2 mins

The benefits to crops of a prolonged release of sulfur in the soil leads growers to the Polysulphate family of fertilizer products and the advantages they bring.


Seeing Sulfur as a Key to Unlock Performance

Sulfur is key to plant growth, with an important synergistic relationship with nitrogen. However, it is prone to leaching and can easily get beyond the reach of crop roots. The result is that crop growth is hindered.

For many years, farmers could bank on airborne industrial pollution to consistently top-up soil sulfur. Now, with cleaner air, that source of sulfur has gone. Farmers now need to look to the inputs they apply to provide the steady supply of sulfur their crops need.


Delivering Prolonged Release of Sulfur

With Polysulphate, the natural polyhalite mineral we mine on the north east UK coast, and with our ICL PotashpluS fertilizer, which is a granular combination of Polysulphate and potash, a key advantage is the steady, prolonged release of sulfur over a longer period than other fertilizers. Along with potassium, calcium, and magnesium there is a healthy dose of sulfur to supply crop needs for a long period.


Financial and Environmental Benefits of Polysulphate for Crops

Using our prolonged release sulfur fertilizers is not just a way for growers to save money by cutting back on the number of fertilizer applications necessary. The fertilizers also offer environmental benefits, including how the risk of sulfur leaching is reduced, and their lower carbon footprint.


Learning by Example


Evidence of the Agronomic Benefits

In addition to the laboratory work demonstrating the prolonged release of nutrients, the trials and demonstrations managed by our agronomists include evidence of the agronomic and other benefits of prolonged release sulfur fertilizers. One example would be Scott Garnett, ICL agronomist in the UK, who reports how autumn-sown wheat crops which follow oilseed rape benefit from a ICL PotashpluS application. The sulfur helps the crop take up residual nitrogen and thus avoids it being leached over the winter. ICL PotashpluS is also proving useful for leguminous crops such as peas and beans. ICL PotashpluS is a useful way of applying sulfur to kickstart nitrogen fixation.

In a world where so much happens faster than ever, it is refreshing to feel that in farming there is growing appreciation of the benefits of slowing down, especially with sulfur.