Do I Need to Add Sulfur When Top-Dressing Wheat?

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After we’ve taken a tissue sample of our wheat crop and received the analysis we can determine if our crop needs an additional application of sulfur with the nitrogen at top-dress. Dr. George Place, Extension Agent and Certified Crop Adviser walks us through the analysis in this 2 minute video:

A sulfur deficiency will hurt yield because it doesn’t allow the wheat crop to fully utilize the nitrogen that we’re putting out. Optimal nitrogen to sulfur ratio is 15:1 (there should be 15 times more nitrogen than sulfur in the plant tissue). If the ratio is higher, as in the video above where there is 34 times the amount of nitrogen than sulfur, that difference will get even larger if we top-dress without adding sulfur. A shortage of sulfur will limit the crop from being able to make use of the nitrogen and the time and money we spent on the application will not have as much benefit to the crop as it would have if we had applied the sulfur.

Additional Resources:

Taking a Tissue Sample before Top-Dressing Wheat

Sulfur Deficiency in Wheat – Kansas State

Sulfur Fertilization in North Carolina Crops