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General information about Sulphur nutrition for some agricultural plants

Cereal crops


Wheat can give good yields only on highly fertile soils, but generally, can be grown on all types, except light sandy soils, acid and peat soils. Root system develops better when the soil solution pH ranges between 6.5-7.5.

Wheat can yield additionally 600-2000 kg/ha of grain with application of 10-30 kg/ha of Sulfur (Duggan et al., 2010).


Rice is a plant with soil fertility requirements less than other cereals. It grows well on bulky soils with high humus and nutrients content, low water permeability and dense subsoil layer. The pH of soil solution has to be between 5.6 and 6.5. 1 t of modern high-yielding varieties can remove from the soil about 5 kg of Sulfur per ha.

Application of 20-80 kg/ha S fertilizers (elemental S and Ammonium Sulphate) increases the rice yield by 510-590 kg/ha (Bespalov, 2004). Additionally there is an increase in grain quality. Halliday & Trenkel (1992) in their overview of other studies report that there is an increase in grain yield of up to 12% with application of 415 kg/ha of Sulfur. Bhuyan & Islam (1989) concluded that application of S along with NPK increases the grain yield by 30-79% above that obtained by using NPK fertilizers alone (Halliday & Trenkel, 1992).


Maize is very sensitive to soil fertility. Optimal pH is 6-7.2. Grows badly on acid soils. 1 t of harvested maize removes around 2-3 kg S/ha from the soil.

Adhikary & Pandey (2007) report an increase of grain yield by 1790 kg/ha when applying 20 kg/ha of S.

Oil crops


Soybean can be cultivated on any type of soil, except swamped soils, sandy soils, solonchacks and solonec. Optimal pH range is 6.5-7.5. The yield of 1 t/ha takes up to 40 kg of S away from the soil.

Soybean needs approximately 15 to 40 kg/ha of S to overcome sulfur deficiency (Jez et al., 2008).

Winter oilseed rape

The crop can be grown on a wide range of soils of varying pH. However, high yields of rape can be achieved on fertile soils with neutral reaction of soil solution. Acid and swamped soils are of a little avail. Rape is very sensitive to deficiency of S in soil.

The application of 22.5 and 30 kg/ha of Sulfur leads to winter rape seed yield increment by 260 and 330 kg/ha respectively (Ling, 2000). Application of 30 kg S/ha led to grain yield rise up to 340 kg/ha (Halliday & Trenkel, 1992).


Mustard can be raised on variable soil types with good drainage, but is best adapted to fertile, well-drained, loamy soils. Soils with a pH near neutral are desired for this crop. Nevertheless, an alkaline and slightly saline soils are tolerated.

Aulakh et al. (1980) reported grain respond only when high rates of N and S were applied together. Application of 60 kg/ha of S increased the oil content by 16%.


Sunflower requires fertile soils with high humus content. Sandy, bulky soils and solonchacks may cause problems.

The grain yield increases linearly with increments of Sulfur application. Maximum gain of 1500 kg of grain per ha is expected when 80 kg of S/ha is applied (Nasreen & Hug, 2002).

Root and tuber crops


Crop grows on most soils, organic as well as mineral. Potatoes require minimum soil pH of 5.5 and up to slightly alkaline conditions.

Application of 15, 30 and 45 kg/ha of S leads to increase in tuber yield of 0.03, 0.06 and 0.14 kg per plant (Sharma et al., 2011).

Vegetable crops


Tomatoes can be cultivated in different conditions, although demand fertile soils. The range of pH is between 5.5 and 7.1.

There is an increase in tomato yields by 9150 kg/ha when applying 133 kg S/ha (Belinski et al., 2007).