Sulfur Nutrition of Crops in the Indo-Gangetic Plains of South Asia
Sulfur is emerging as a major plant nutrient for crops grown in the Indo-Gangetic Plains spread over 13 million hectares in Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. The extent of sulfur deficiency in soils in the region is continuously increasing with the adoption of high-yield cultivars of rice (Oryza sativa L.), wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), maize (Zea mays L.), oilseeds, and pulses and because of the increased use of fertilizers lacking sulfur. Sufficient evidence is available from hundreds of experiments that sulfur fertilization of crops needs to be an integral component of balanced nutrition for producing optimum yield and quality of crops. Each kilogram of sulfur applied to oilseed crops could increase the production of edible oil by 3.0 to 3.5 kg, suggesting that sulfur is a master nutrient in oil production. With an integral role of sulfur in protein and oil production, sulfur nutrition of crops has a greater bearing on the nutrition of the vegetarian population in South Asia. Critical sulfur content in most crop plants in distinguishing sulfur deficiency falls between 0.20 and 0.25% sulfur. Sulfur can be supplied to crops through gypsum and fertilizers such as ammonium sulfate, potassium sulfate, or single superphosphate during seeding of crops or as pyrites and elemental sulfur 3 to 4 wk before seeding of crops. Substantial amounts of sulfur also become available to crop plants through irrigation with underground waters and recycling of organic manures, including green manures. Application of sulfur to a crop leaves a significant residual effect for subsequent crops grown in the rotation.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
Copyright © 2008. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, 5585 Guilford Road, Madison, WI 53711-5801, USA. Sulfur: A Missing Link between Soils, Crops, and Nutrition. Agronomy Monograph 50.