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Crop Frequently Asked Questions

WHY DO MY CROPS NEED A SULPHUR RICH FERTILIZER?

Sulphur is one of the 16 essential elements required for production of amino acids and proteins in plants. It is the fourth most important element after nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Increase in Sulphur Deficient crops in Western Cape:
The statutory limitations on industrial emissions of sulphur dioxide, a source of sulphur freely available in the air, and the use of highly concentrated fertilizers which contain less sulphur has meant that more sulphur deficiency symptoms have been observed in grain crops in the Western Cape. Corrective applications of elemental sulphur take weeks or often months to be broken down into Sulphate form – the form that plants require for absorption.1

Sulfert 8 contains 80 grams of Sulphur in Sulfate form per kilogram product. It nourishes the plant with sulphur that is readily available for absorption and the correction of deficiency.

HOW DO I RECOGNIZE SULPHUR DEFICIENCIES?

Observation:
Yellow colouration of plants often first observed in the new growth, plants with thin stems or small plants are all symptoms of sulphur deficiency.
Soil analysis:
Ideally, a sulphur deficiency in the soil should be identified from a soil analysis so that remedial action can be taken as early as possible.1 See below: How do I conduct a soil test for sulphur?

HOW DOES SULFERT 8 RECTIFY A SULPHUR DEFICIENCY?

Ammonium sulphate provides sulphur in Sulfate form which is readily available for plant absorption and the correction of sulphur deficiency. By contrast, elemental sulphur may take weeks or months to be broken down into this form so that it may be absorbed.1

For a chemical analysis please refer to the chemical analysis sheet by clicking here.

WHY SHOULD I USE A LIQUID FERTILIZER?

The benefits of using liquid fertilizer are wide ranging. From a production perspective, there is usually better quality control in the manufacturing process as liquid fertilizer is produced in a continual production process in contrast to granular fertilizer, which is produced in batches.

From an application perspective, in start-up applications liquid fertilizer speeds up the planting rate which allows more hectares to be planted per day. Secondly, liquid fertilizer is less cumbersome to handle and requires less labour. Thirdly, it gives the farmer superior control over the quantity fertilizer used in the application, and the accuracy with which it is dispersed. Lastly, in the case of Fertplan Sulfert 8, it is more cost effective than granular equivalents.1
See benefits for further information

IS SULFERT 8 SUITABLE FOR DRIP IRRIGATION?

Yes, Sulfert 8 is well suited to drip irrigation. It is highly soluble in water and will not clog drip irrigation nozzles. It is filtered through-out its production process to mitigate the risk of solid particles being left in solution. Quality assurance systems are in place to ensure that deliveries conform to the highest standards.

CAN I APPLY SULFERT 8 THROUGH A FERTIGATION SYSTEM?

Yes, Sulfert 8 is ideal for fertigation applications. For more uniform growth, minimum wastage, and less corrosion of irrigation equipment, it is recommended that where possible, smaller amounts of Sulfert 8 be applied on a more regular basis.

IS SULFERT 8 CORROSIVE?

Sulfert 8 is an acidic fertilizer (pH 2.6 - 3.2), and as with all acids will corrode certain materials in high concentrations (e.g. mild steel). Furthermore, due to its high salt content, Sulfert 8 is abrasive when handling and rubber pump impellors should be avoided where possible. To protect equipment (pump impellors, pump housings, piping, etc.) it is recommended that Sulfert 8 be diluted with water and/or equipment be flushed with water after use. I.e. dilute with water when applying and irrigate after application.

WHAT QUALITY ASSURANCE IS CONDUCTED ON FERTPLAN PRODUCTS PRIOR TO DELIVERY?

Routine quality assurance is conducted on all batches prior to their release. A Contents Analysis Report is provided when requested.

CAN SULFERT 8 BE BLENDED WITH OTHER FERTILIZERS?

Yes, Sulfert 8 is highly soluble and can be mixed with a number of fertilizers (Urea, Ammonium Nitrate, etc.) to make specialised blends to suit a crop’s nutrient requirement.

IS 10 TONNES OF SULFERT 8 THE SAME AS 10 KILOLITRES?

No, Sulfert has a Specific Gravity of around 1.2 (1205 - 1277 kg/m3). Therefore, 10 kL weighs approximately 12 tonne.

MY CROP APPEARS TO BE LACKING SULPHUR BUT MY SOIL ANALYSIS STATES OTHERWISE. WHY?

There are factors that prevent plants from absorbing sulphur from the soil including (1) root pruning (caused by some herbicides and acidic soils) and (2) root-rot disease. Checking for these conditions and correcting by, (1) modifying the pH of your soil, or (2) through treatment of seeds can help you to avoid unnecessary applications of a sulphur fertilizer such as Sulfert 8.1

HOW DO I CONDUCT A SOIL TEST FOR SULPHUR?

Western Cape Department of Agriculture at Elsenburg is committed to supplying the farming community and public with a high level of service. Soil samples can be taken and couriered/posted to Elsenburg for analysis and recommendations. Click here to go to their website.

ARE SULPHUR DEFICIENCIES COMMON IN SANDY SOIL CONDITIONS?

Yes. Sandy soils lack sulphur-producing organic matter, and subsequently require additional sulphur in the form of elemental sulfur or sulphur-rich fertilizers. For this reason, sandy soils often produce sulphur-deficient crops.2

WHAT DOES SULFERT 8 SMELL LIKE?

Sulfert 8 has a slight odour of ammonia and horseradish.

HOW MUCH AMMONIUM SULPHATE IS THERE IN SULFERT 8?

The Sulfert 8 is at least 36% ammonium sulphate. I.e. It has a minimum of 36g ammonium sulphate per 100g.

WHAT DOES SULFERT 8 LOOK LIKE?

Sulfert is a colourless, slightly opaque liquid.

IS SULFERT 8 A REGISTERED FERTILIZER?

Yes, Sulfert 8 has been approved by the Department of Agriculture according to Act 36 of 1947 (Group II).
Reg. No. B3481.

1The Fertilizer Society of South Africa, Fertilizer Handbook 2003 , 5th revised edition.
2 Heiniger et al. 2003, Ag Research Technician II, http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/plymouth/cropsci/docs/sulfur.html

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