Sulphur on Alfalfa

Luke Hartung, June 5, 2019

Many of you have started using sulphur (S) on your alfalfa crop, and for good reason – because it pays! Research has shown that for every tonne of forage removed, 5lbs of sulphur is needed to replenish lost nutrients. As a result, we are recommending a minimum of 25lbs of sulphur per year to be applied to your hay fields. Some farmers use manure on their hay ground and this is a great source of sulphur, but for those that rely on fertilizer, here are some sources of sulphur:

Although a great source of sulphur, elemental sulphur is not readily available to the alfalfa/grass as it needs to be oxidized and transformed into the readily available form. This process takes 3 to 6 months, so applying elemental sulphur in the fall ensures it is available for next year’s crop. Another advantage to elemental sulphur is that it also happens to be the cheapest form of sulphur. We at NWC recommend 50lbs of elemental sulphur with a fall phosphate and potassium application for best results.

Overall, there will be an economic response to adding a minimum of 25lbs of sulphur per year to your alfalfa or grassy hay stand. If you have any questions contact your NWC crop specialist.

Book your Soil Scan Nitrate Test

Our region has received above average precipitation for the month of May, and as a result we have likely lost a great deal of Nitrogen (N). Nitrogen can be lost due to leaching (washing out of the soil profile), denitrification (converting to gas form of nitrogen in saturated soils) and volatilization (nitrogen converting to gas form nitrogen on soil surface).

In order to maximize your corn yields, it is important to know if you have enough available nitrogen to meet your crop’s needs. To help determine the true level of nitrogen in our customer’s soil, NWC has purchased a Soil Scan 360 nitrate testing machine. Using several core samples from your farm, the Soil Scan 360 is able to generate a soil nitrate report in seconds, giving you real-time information about whether you have enough nitrogen to finish the corn crop. If the nitrogen test results are low, NWC is able to apply more nitrogen to the corn crop with our Over-the-Top Vector custom applicator. If you are interested in finding out if you have enough nitrogen to meet your crop’s needs, talk to you NWC Crop Specialist and sign up for a Soil Scan 360 test today.