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Can fall sulfur application work for you?

By: Dan Kaiser, Extension specialist
The benefits of sulfur application have been widely seen across Minnesota for the last ten years. One question that seems to persist is, what is the best option when applying sulfur in the fall? Coming back in spring with a second pass of dry fertilizer is not always an option. While the sulfate form of sulfur is mobile in the soil, there are a few things to consider when deciding which source of sulfur to choose and when to apply.
Movement of sulfate in the soil profile is not as rapid as nitrate. Sulfate, the form of sulfur available to crops, is an anion and is therefore not held in the soil. Since sulfate is subject to leaching, many seem to compare the leaching potential of sulfate to nitrate. While sulfate can move readily through the soil profile, recent research in Minnesota demonstrates that the sulfate form of sulfur can be applied in fall and benefit corn production.
Facts to consider when applying a form of sulfate in the fallIf your …
Recent posts

Plan to attend a Small Grain Winter Workshop

University of Minnesota Extension is offering six Small Grain Winter Workshops across Central and Southern MN in February to address small grain production.

Adding a small grain to your crop rotation can help manage some of the challenges of farming row crops. Row crop farming brings busy spring and fall workloads. There are also pests common to row crops, including herbicide resistant weeds, soybean cyst nematodes, soybean aphid, and other insect and disease pests becoming more problematic across Minnesota. Including a small grain offers the opportunity to diversify your cropping system and help address these challenges.

This program is designed to help you determine if small grains can work on your farm and in your rotation. It will provide the tools needed to make small grains a successful crop in the operation with cutting-edge research on:

Production agronomics Variety selection Disease identification Fungicide use Fertility Quality Equipment and economics  Time will be set …

Free respirator fit test train the trainer workshops

Respirators are necessary for using certain pesticides safely, but we lack resources in Minnesota to help farmers and pesticide applicators choose the right respirator, as well as fit testing and medical evaluation resources. In these free workshops, we will train rural healthcare providers, co­‐op health and safety managers, and others to provide fit testing and other respirator support across the state.

Workshops will include:
•Hands-on fit test demos
•Interactive sessions on respirator selection and current respirator issues in agricultural areas
•Practice time with supervision from occupational safety experts
•And more!



Locations and dates include:

Alexandria, March 19th, Alexandria Public Works Meeting Room, 526 Willow Dr, Alexandria, MN 56308Little Falls, March 20th, 405 1st St SE, Little Falls, MN 56345Hutchinson, March 26th, Hutchinson Event Center, 1005 MN-15, Hutchinson, MN 55350Mankato, March 28th, Historic Blue Earth County Courthouse, 204 S 5th St, Mankato, MN 56001Worthin…

Nutrient Management Podcast: a conversation on sulfur

In this episode, Fabian Fernandez, Dan Kaiser and Jeff Vetch discuss sulfur. What does the research say about fall versus spring application? What is the best source of sulfur for corn? Should farmers be concerned about an interaction between nitrogen and sulfur? 
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View the podcast transcript.

Support for this project was provided in part by the Agricultural Fertilizer Research & Education Council (AFREC).

New (free) online private pesticide applicator study course

Do you need your private applicator certification?  This new course is a supplement to the pesticide applicator manual with interactive videos, graphics, and additional content to help you engage with the curriculum. We are offering a trial run of this course for free! We’d like to get your feedback on how we can improve the course and how to make it as useful as possible for new pesticide applicators seeking certification. The course will take ~10 hours total, and we recommend splitting it up over six weeks.

Who is this course for?  While the private applicator manual and exam are geared towards field crop producers, the online course has an expanded focus with extra information for specialty crop producers. Our goal is to create a course on pesticide safety and integrated pest management that is useful to growers at all scales of production.

Registration To register for the course, you’ll first need to create a free account with campus.extension.org. Second, fill out the course regi…

What source of sulfur is right for you?

By Dan Kaiser, nutrient management Extension specialist
Selecting the right source of sulfur is critical to ensure enough sulfate-sulfur is present in the soil at key uptake periods. Rapid uptake of sulfur occurs in corn from V5 to early silking when 50 percent of sulfur needed by corn is taken up. Roughly 10 percent of sulfur needed by corn is taken up prior to V5, but this timeframe is still critical and deficiencies early in the growing season can limit yield – particularly in cool and wet springs.

Sulfate fertilizer sources like ammonium, potassium and calcium sulfate will provide readily available sulfate to a corn crop. The drawback of these materials is that sulfate can leach through the soil profile immediately after application. While it is possible to leach sulfate, research in Minnesota has demonstrated that sulfate can carry over in medium- to fine-textured soils and be in the soil profile that fall and even the year following application. Fall application of sulfate can s…

A conversation on sulfur

In this episode, Fabian Fernandez, Dan Kaiser and Jeff Vetch discuss sulfur. What does the research say about fall versus spring application? What is the best source of sulfur for corn? Should farmers be concerned about an interaction between nitrogen and sulfur? Thank you to the Minnesota Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council (AFREC) for their support of this podcast.