SulFer 85 Forage Crops
In the past 20-40kg/hectare Sulphur was deposited on grassland through air pollution and acid rain. This figure is now in the region of 1-4kg S per hectare.
Application of S on deficient sites has been shown to increase total dry matter by 10-30%
Figures from KW show total cost of 1st cut silage is around £300 with a yield of 21t FW, 5.25t DW. Adding 20kg S would cost £20, but if DW was increased by 10% return would be approx £25. This does not account for any of the other benefits
Less than 10% of grassland receives S fertiliser, and that which does averages 10-15kg S per hectare
Sulphur is a constituent of proteins, enzymes such as urease and is a structural constituent of biological membranes
Sulphur deficiency reduces leaf size and chlorophyll content
Inhibition of protein synthesis in S deficient plants may be correlated with an accumulation of soluble organic nitrogen and nitrates.
Sulphur deficiency reduces both the protein content of plants and the sulphur content of the protein, reducing the nutritional quality of the plant.
Carbohydrate (starch) accumulation may result in plants deficient in S
Sulphate leaches readily from the soil and annual applications are required.
Teagasc showed that the N:S ratio and the quantity of nitrate and non protein N were reduced and protein N increased by S application
Sulphur fertilization has also been shown to increase concentrations of crude fibre and lower concentrations of crude protein in the grass.
On permeable soils receiving high levels of N, the application of S could have a large effect on reducing nitrate leaching and its associated environmental impact.
Voluntary intake of forage has also been shown to be decreased when S is deficient
Sulphur fertilization generally has little effect on the selenium contents of the grass.
Scientists at Cambridge found that application of sulphur fertiliser decreased the concentrations of zinc, copper, iron and molybdate leaching from the soil.
Copper deficiency in cattle can be affected by levels of soil molybdenum, pH, sward maturity (fresh grass tends to be a poor source of copper particularly in autumn and winter, whilst hay tends to have lower protein levels and less sulphur and is therefore a better source of copper), rainfall, fertiliser use and soil ingestion.
Some breeds of sheep and cattle are more susceptible to copper deficiency than others
University Of Kentucky showed that the weight gain of calves fed tall fescue supplemented with maize increased by 53% when sulphur was added. A similar gain was obtained by supplementing with soybean meal, but adding sulphur to the supplement provided a better average daily gain
Virginia polytechnic Institute showed that sulphur fertilisation boosted corn yields by 7%, and, when fed to ruminants, showed dramatic improvements in N utilisation
University of California showed that Sulphur preserved pasture quality by helping legumes compete more aggressively with grasses. Pastures fertilised with sulphur contained twice as much clover as adjacent pastures not treated with S.
Ohio State University showed that fortifying the diets of dairy cows with sulphur improved daily milk production by more than 5g/kg
In Manitoba Canada fertilising brome grass with 120lbs/ac N increased protein by 61%. Adding 40lbs/ac S increased protein content a further 20%
Sulphur Inst work showed that supplying S to orchardgrass reduced nitrate N content of forage