ICL UK has held its first technical conference dedicated entirely to sulphur, an essential nutrient for both crop production and quality, and a key component of many of the ICL FertilizerpluS collection of premium products.
The one-day event – attended by over 75 representatives of the fertilizer supply chain and advisory services – had two clear aims: to raise awareness of the role of sulphur and the rising incidence of deficiency and to demonstrate the benefits of choosing and using a precise and balanced crop nutrition strategy.
According to Professor Steve McGrath, Head of the Department for Sustainable Agricultural Sciences at the UK’s Rothamsted Research, the requirement for use of sulphur fertilizers is increasingly widespread. Jonathan Telfer of Lancrop Laboratories stressed the importance of checking for essential macro- and micro-nutrients. He explained that there are three key stages where sulphur measurements should be taken: pre-season check on soil to make nutrition plan; in-season leaf and tissue analysis to check whether nutrients are deficient; and post-season grain analysis to evaluate efficiency of nutrient use and content.
As well as information from ICL UK’s own work on Polysulphate-based products, the participants were given insights into a range of independent trials investigating benefits of Polysulphate from ICL Fertlizers as a source of sulphur. Peter Scott, Technical Director for Origin Fertilisers UK and Ireland, revealed the positive outcome of using Polysulphate on maize, grassland and lucerne. Tom Land, Fertiliser Manager with Agrii UK, described their work on wheat, oilseed rape and pulses demonstrating Polysulphate consistently gave good results.
Andrew Stillwell, Technical Sales Manager for Bartholomews Agri Food Ltd, presented research by the International Potash Institute and Bartholomews comparing FertilizerpluS product PotashpluS against MOP for fertilization of spring barley. In every case, and across all varieties, it was found that PotashpluS improved overall yield and at all the different nitrogen rates and splits. It also contributed to better final grain nitrogen content of malting barley and improved other quality parameters, resulting in better returns to the grower.
Collating evidence of the need to apply sulphur fertilizers, and their benefits, is an important task. Sharing it is the next step. According to ICL UK’s Richard Ward who helped to organize this UK event, “All those who attended found the event to be informative and stimulating”.
They can now share their knowledge of the importance an effective source of sulphur with their clients and crops in the seasons to come.