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Spread sulphur now, save money on 2009 crop

Applying elemental sulphur now can boost next year’s canola crop and save money, the Canola Council of Canada says.

“If growers are interested in applying elemental sulphur for next year’s canola crop, look at broadcasting it this fall,” senior agronomy specialist John Mayko said in a release.

Growers choose elemental sulphur fert i lizer because it tends to be less expensive per unit of nutrient and a lower volume of product is needed because of its high analysis. However, elemental sulphur granules need time to be exposed to environmental elements. Exposure breaks down the fertilizer particles and helps accelerate the oxidization process that converts elemental sulphur to sulphate, which makes it available to plants.

Research conducted by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada on sulphur-deficient soils showed that in-season applications of elemental sulphur fertilizers were inferior to applications of sulphate forms of fertilizer. However, fall broadcast of elemental sulphur without incorporation improved the performance of elemental sulphur products. Fall broadcast of elemental sulphur is also a good fit for reduced-or zero-tillage operations.

Using elemental sulphur fertilizers is becoming more widespread due to the pricing and handl ing advantages. “If you are thinking about using elemental sulphur, consider application through broadcast without incorporation this fall to properly prepare for next year’s canola crop,” Mayko says.

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