Benefits of Prolonged Release of Sulphur in Soil

Sulphur 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 sulphur in the soil leads growers to the Polysulphate family of fertiliser products and the advantages they bring.


Seeing Sulphur as a Key to Unlock Performance

Sulphur 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 sulphur. Now, with cleaner air, that source of sulphur has gone. Farmers now need to look to the inputs they apply to provide the steady supply of sulphur their crops need.


Delivering Prolonged Release of Sulphur

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


Financial and Environmental Benefits of Polysulphate for Crops

Using our prolonged release sulphur fertilisers is not just a way for growers to save money by cutting back on the number of fertiliser applications necessary. The fertilisers also offer environmental benefits, including how the risk of sulphur 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 sulphur fertilisers. 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 sulphur 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 sulphur.