PR article: Roľnícke noviny (Farming newspaper) | | Plant production/Advertisement | 18.10.2017

Each producer seeks to increase their output from the unit area by means of all available intensification factors. No doubt, plant nutrition is the most important factor, considering demands of specific crop plant in nutrients as well as dynamics of their consumption in course of the entire growing season. Sulphur is specific out of the necessary nutrients. Decrease in sulphur transfer from the atmosphere to plants increased significance of use of sulphur-containing fertilisers. The issue of sulphur deficiency in nutrition of plants is specific not only for Slovakia, as it is also signalised by all advanced EU countries in agriculture.

The value of sulphur consumption from the atmosphere in Slovakia is in average about 5-6 kg of atmospheric sulphur per hectare a year. Sulphur is withdrawn from the soil by agricultural crops and by leaching to groundwater. Both effects represent undesirable losses. As sulphur in form of sulphates is relatively floating in the soil, such losses may reach significant values. In the SR, average sulphur losses due to leaching and erosion are estimated to 40 kg per hectare a year, considering the amount of precipitation, topography, and percentage of arable land.


Role of sulphur in plants

Sulphur is very important macroelement in plant nutrition. It is a part of proteins and it is present in some amino acids and vitamins. It is significant for oxidation-reduction processes in plants, for activation of enzymes and protein exchange. It supports fixation of atmospheric nitrogen as it positively influences formation of tubers on the roots of fabaceae family plants. A big amount of sulphur compounds is found in plants in reduced form.


Basic signs of sulphur deficiency

Sulphur deficiency slows down protein synthesis as formation of amino acids containing sulphur is hindered. Sings of insufficient supply of sulphur for plants are identical to nitrogen deficiency. Plants ailing appearance, their growth slows down, leaves are smaller, stalk is longer, leaves and stems start to lignify. With sulphur deficiency leaves do not die back, however, their colour fades out. In case of oilseed rape – one of the most important crop plants in present rotation of crops, with early observance of symptoms of sulphur deficiency until the phase of intensive prolongation, it is possible to save the crops of the seed by fertilising. Sings of sulphur deficiency with cereals are less specific than with dicotyledons, despite the fact, some signs occur. Sulphur deficiency demonstrates first in light soils and with limited fertilising by farmyard fertilisers like farmyard manure and slurry.


Different demands

Demands of individual kinds of agricultural crops in sulphur vary a lot, which requires differentiated approach to fertilisation of individual crops. Plants from the fabaceae family, cabbage family, hop, onion family, and root crops have the biggest demands in sulphur. Cereals are medium sulphur demanding.

Average sulphur demand of crops
Crop plant Crops (t/ha) Sulphur consumption (kg/ha)
Cereals 5,0 20
Corn 6,5 19
Potatoes 23,0 27,5
Lucerne 12,0 27,5
Trefoil 10,0 23
Cabbage 37,5 43,5
Oilseed rape 3,0 75,5
Sugar beet 50,0 44,5
Onion 35,0 22,5


Effects of sulphur on plants:

  • it significantly increases oil in oilseeds,
  • it increases the content of chlorophyll in green parts of plants to improve assimilation and the subsequent sugar storing, e.g., with sugar beet,
  • it supports sprouting of cereals, formation of branches of oilseed rape and like phosphor, it also influences formation of generative bodies,
  • it contributes to better metabolism of nitrogen – reduces nitrates mostly in vegetable,
  • it positively influences phosphor consumption


Ammonium thiosulphate liquid fertiliser

One of possibilities how to add sulphur is use of special sulphur-containing fertilisers or complex water-soluble fertilisers containing several macro- and microelements, such as ammonium tiosulphate fertilisers, which increase efficiency of fertilising of field crops.


Advanced combination  of sulphur and nitrogen  in liquid fertiliser

Combination of sulphur and ammoniac nitrogen in a liquid fertiliser helps to achieve maximum yield potential of arable crops in modern agriculture. It has been used in the USA and  western European countries for a long time.  Apart from satisfying basic needs of crops and adding important nutrients into the soil structure, it also brings along other important advantages like:

  • It slows down the process of nitrification which results in quality crops even at low soil temperatures.
  • It supplies the plant with inevitable sulphur more quickly and longer than other forms of sulphur as it contains sulphur in two forms (SO42- and S0).
  •  It improves the balance of inevitable nutrients and thus creates ideal conditions for plant growth with flexible use in various crop growing stages.
  • Nutrients are supplied practically immediately after application.
  • Improvement of consumption of other microelements (mainly iron, magnesium, and phosphor).
  • Increase of fertilising efficiency in combination with DAM and other nitrogenous fertilisers.
  • High flexibility of mixing with the most widely used liquid fertilisers and possibility to mix directly with plant protection products.
  • Application of dropping or spraying forms of fertilisation with high equality and accuracy of application according to need for placement of the substance.
  • Comparing to granule fertilisers, the liquid fertilisers are less demanding as far as their storing and handling is concerned.
  • They supply nutrients to plants also during lack of precipitation.
  • They have neutral or medium alkaline pH.



STERCORAT Hungary Kft has commenced construction of a new production facility to produce the product Stercosul® – ATS based liquid fertiliser.

In cooperation with the company SLOVNAFT a.s. and using the unique technology, the company STERCORAT funds the construction of the facility for production of ATS with annual capacity of 50,000 tons.  ATS based fertiliser shall be placed on the market in 2018.

The project involves environment-friendly technology with significant decrease of SO2 emissions comparing to a unit conventionally used for sulphur regeneration. The investment in Bratislava is first of its kind in the region of Central and Eastern Europe.