Plant Nutrient Interactions in Soil Environment

Far West Agribusiness Association Washington Crop Production Conf. Dec. 14, 2011
Wesley Haun Agronomist Sales & Research

Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011

Sulfur
  

Secondary nutrient essential for plant growth. In some crops there can be similar amounts of S as phosphorus (P). Critical in plant metabolic functions.
 

Component of some amino acids, vitamins, and enzymes. Photosynthesis and seed formation.

Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011

Sulfur Deficiency

Sulfur (S) continues to present challenges as to plant available soil SO42- and consistently correlate soil additions to predictable yield response.

Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011

Soil Sulfur Deficiencies

In U.S.
Sulfur deficiencies tend to be most prevalent in Great Plains, Northeast, California, and Southeast.

In Canada:
Western areas

Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011

Sulfur
 Sulfur is critical in conversion of nitrate

(NO3)  S – deficiency N – deficiency  N-S interaction & deficiency symptoms  Similar in early growth stages  Significantly different in later growth stages
Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011

Factors Influencing Soil Sulfur Availability Low Organic Matter (OM)  Course textured soils (sandy)  Well drained soils  Low soil pH  Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

in soil solution.  Liming soils decrease SO42.reacts w/OH ions of Fe & Al.adsorption to soil colloids decrease as soil pH increases.  SO42.  Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .Factors Influencing Soil Sulfur Availability SO42.adsorbed & increase amount of SO42.

 Primary sources of S in alkaline soils are inorganic compounds. Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .  Kaolinite clays retain more SO4 than Montmorilloite clays.Sulfur & Alkaline Soils  Availability of S in alkaline soils is function of amount of sulfate salts present (CaSO4) and OM in root zone.

Natural Sources SO4  Organic Matter (OM)  Atmospheric Sulfur  Soil Minerals 2- Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

Atmospheric Deposition  Significant amounts of S to growing crop & soil  Sources:  Burning of gas. and anaerobic decomposition of OM Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 . oil. coal.

Atmospheric Deposition  S enters the atmosphere as: SO2  H2S  H2SO4  others  Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

Nitrogen Mineralization and Nitrification Mineralization Soil Organic Matter Manure Rotting Plant Residues Nitrification + Oxygen NH3 Ammonia NO2Nitrite NO3Nitrate NH4+ Ammonium Nitrosomonas Bacteria Nitrobacter .

Thiothrix Soil Organic S Elemental S Sulfate Leaching Aerobic Conditions Thiobacillus. Beggiatoa. Thiothrix Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .Sulfur Cycle H2S Anaerobic Conditions FeS Beggiatoa.

Sulfur Mineralization Organic S (OM) Bacteria Decay Products (H2S. other organic sulfides) Bacteria Sulfates (SO4 ) Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

Sulfur Mineralization  Similar to Nitrogen (N) Mineralization process.  Driven by correct      Temperature Moisture Oxygen Microbial activity S Particle size Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

Sulfur Oxidation H2S + O2 S + O2 + H 2 O Bacteria Bacteria H 2O + S H2SO4 Oxidation of S results in H2SO4 Lowers soil pH CaCO3 + H2SO4 Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 CaSO4 + H2CO3 .

Thiothrix Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .Sulfur Cycle H2S Anaerobic Conditions FeS Beggiatoa. Thiothrix Soil Organic S Elemental S Sulfate Leaching Aerobic Conditions Thiobacillus. Beggiatoa.

Effect of Soil Temperature on S Oxidation 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Soil 1 Soil 2 Soil 3 Soil 4 Soil 5 (ppm) SO4 Level Soil Temp. 41o F 69o F 80o F Soils Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

S Particle Size Affects Rate of Oxidation % Sulphur Oxidized Particle Size (mesh/inch) 2 weeks 4 weeks 20 – 40 40 – 80 80 .170 230 5 15 36 61 80 14 36 68 81 82 Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .120 120 .

Oxidization of Elemental Sulphur Elemental sulphur particle size The smaller the particle size the faster the conversion to SO4= 90 % Elemental Sulphur 10 % Dispersing Agent T90CR pastille T90CR drop of water T90CR fine powder Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

Soil pH  Regulates plant nutrient availability.S oxidation --.5 N fixation --.pH > 6.pH < 6.pH > 6.5 – 7.pH 6.  Bacteria  Fungi --.  Influences micro-organism population.0  P availability --.5 Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .5 Thiobacillus -.

Nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium Sulfur Calcium Magnesium Iron Manganese Boron Copper and Zinc Molybdenum 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 .Relationship Between Soil pH and Plant Nutrient Availability Adapted from Truog. 1946. SSAP 11:305-308.

Effect of Soil pH on Phosphorus Availability Relative P Fixation In Soil Very High High Greatest Fixation High Fixation Fixation By Iron Fixation Due To Aluminum Range For Highest P Availability Medium Fixation Medium Fixation By Calcium Low 4 5 Soil pH 6 7 8 Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

Sulfur Uptake by Plants  SO4 2-  Is not pH sensitive  Relatively insensitive to high SO4 2.concentrations in soil Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

04 0.25 1.Sulfur Uptake by Crop Crop Wheat Sugar Beets Alfalfa Potatoes Corn lbs SO42/unit 0.0 45.0 18 17 23 Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .5 5 0.5 tons/Ac 400 cwt/Ac 140 Uptake lbs/Ac SO4210.163 Yield bu/Ac 40 30 tons/Ac 3.

Sulfur Deficiency in Plant  Best Method to Diagnose tissue analysis Soil sample  Sulfur conc.5% in plant tissue  S deficiency NO3 accumulation  Balancing S & N nutrition is important for plant & animal health. 0.2 – 0. Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 Plant .

Sulphur Application  Timing Fall Spring Soil Temperature 75 – 85o F Optimum range Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

Sulphur Application  Product Tiger Suggestions 90CR 90% Sulphur Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

Fall Applied Tiger 90CR Sulphur Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

Sulfur & Other Nutrient Interactions   Optimum S & K levels enhance Zn Uptake Fazili et al (2008) lack of S limits N use efficiency  Kowalenko & Lowe (1975) – high N:S ratio   decreased S mineralization optimum ratio at 7:1    Excess SO4 can reduce uptake of NO3 & MoO4 Excess NO3 can reduce uptake of SO4 S can reduce Cu toxicity w/Cu – S complexes Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

(SO2)  Sulfur in soil/crop amendments. (SO42-)  Atmospheric Sulfur. fertilizer) Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 . (OM. Minerals)  Sulfur in precipitation.Soil Testing for Sulfur  Soil Sulfur determination compounded by several factors:  Soil Sulfur. (manure.

Soil Testing for Sulfur  Collection pattern  Factors that influence Topography Soil Type Crop History Manure applications Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

12 inches deep. Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 . 0 .Soil Testing for Sulfur  Collect  samples from root zone.

  Seedlings – whole plant Mature plants – leaf/stems  Same stage of development.  Soil samples w/complete analysis.Plant Tissue Sampling Procedures  Appropriate plant tissue. Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

Tissue Sample Collection  Most recent mature leaves just below     growing point on main stems. Select material without soil particles. Do not select dead/deteriorated material. DO NOT wash. Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 . Collect samples ASAP after symptoms appear.

Sulfur Deficiency in Alfalfa Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

ISU Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .Sulfur Deficiency in Alfalfa Photo: Brian Lang.

20%  Apply: 50 lbs/ac NH4SO4 or K2SO4 75lbs T90CR Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .Sulphur in Alfalfa  Soil Test < 8 ppm  Plant tissue test < 0.

ISU Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .Sulfur Deficiency in Corn Photo: Brian Lang.

ISU Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .Sulfur Deficiency in Corn Photo: John Sawyer.

20%  Apply: 20 – 30 lbs/Ac sulfur Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .Sulfur Deficiency in Corn  Soil test value < 8 ppm  Plant tissue value < 0.

Sulphur Deficiency in Potatoes Photo: Univ. of Idaho Winter Conference 2011 Far West Washington .

Sulphur Deficiency in Potatoes  Soil test value < 7 ppm  Plant tissue value < 0.20%  Apply: 10 – 20 lbs/Ac S Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

Davis Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .Sulphur Deficiency in Sugar beets Photos: Univ. of Cal .

Sulphur in Sugar Beets  Sulphur should not be limiting  S is constituent of 3 amino acids and critical in protein synthesis Soil test < 10 ppm in top 12 inches Apply 30 – 40 lbs/Ac S Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .Sulphur in Sugar Beets  Interacts w/N & both nutrients effectiveness is improved.  Enhances sugar quality.

Sulfur Deficiency in Wheat Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

20%  Apply: 20 – 30 lbs/Ac S Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .Sulfur Deficiency in Wheat  Soil test value < 8 ppm  Plant tissue value < 0.

Sulfur impacts wheat flour baking quality Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

Plant sulphur deficiencies are more prevalent. Primary crops grown in PNW have relative high demand for sulphur.Summary Sulphur is an essential nutrient for plant growth. Sulphur mineralization is similar to nitrogen mineralization process. Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 .

A planned Sulphur nutrient mgt program provides more consistent SO4 availability from year to year. Far West Washington Winter Conference 2011 . micro-organism (Thiobacillus) population. soil temperature.Summary Several factors influence S availability Soil Type. S particle size.