Building soybean fertility is a process that starts from the ground up. With the potential for higher soybean yields with each passing year, the need for a strong, healthy crop continues to rise. Soybeans have more complex nutrient needs than previously thought and require nutrients throughout the growing season.
Magnesium (Mg) is one of three secondary macronutrients, along with calcium and sulfur, required for balanced crop nutrition. Often overlooked, Mg deficiencies can lead to reduced crop growth and yield.
Sulfur (S) is widely distributed throughout the world in many forms. Yet in some soils, insufficient S levels can’t meet crop needs. The good news: No such shortage applies to the many excellent S-containing fertilizer products that can address S deficiencies where they occur.
The first occurrences of sulfur (S) deficiency in corn were reported in the 1960s. At the time, sulfur deficiency was virtually unheard of. Textbooks devoted chapters to nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) and their roles in crop production. Sulfur received only short paragraphs.
In order to thrive, and ultimately achieve higher yields, crops need to receive the right amount of nutrients throughout the growing season.
The oxidation of elemental sulfur (S⁰) to sulfate sulfur (SO₄) in soil is a biological process and is carried out by several kinds of microorganisms. The rate at which this conversion takes place is determined by three main factors:
1. the microbiological population of the soil;
2. the physical properties of the S⁰ source; and
3. the environmental conditions in the soil.
Without photosynthesis, plant life wouldn’t exist. And without magnesium (Mg), there would be no photosynthesis. Plants couldn’t produce our food, and hunger would become our No. 1 concern.
Crops need magnesium to achieve proper growth and development, which is why it is important to choose a fertilizer source that provides an adequate amount of magnesium.
- Sulfate-Sulfur is the only form of S the plant can utilize.
- Elemental S is dependent upon time, temperature and moisture to be available to the plant.
- Sulfate-Sulfur will not acidify the soil.
For various reasons, sulfur (S) deficiencies are increasing in many areas of the country. Consequently, fertility programs use this nutrient more routinely. The most common chemical forms of S used in fertilizers are sulfate S (SO₄²⁻) and elemental S (S⁰). But these two forms of S react quite differently in soils. It’s very important to understand the differences between SO₄²⁻ and S⁰ in order to use these two forms in the most effective manner possible.
Langbeinite is a unique source of plant nutrition, since three essential nutrients combine naturally into one mineral. It provides a readily available supply of Potassium (K), Magnesium (Mg) and Sulfur (S) to growing plants.