Sulfur in Chinese Agriculture
has many uses within China. Specific to agriculture we often think of sulfur
and its role as a raw material in the formation of phosphate fertilizers. In
1994, China imported about 100,000 tons of sulfur. Today, the number exceeds 10
million tons? And that does not include China?
S domestic production. While there are other uses, much of this material
finds itself for use in agriculture. Times are changing. The agricultural
community is looking more and more at the use of sulfur as a fertilizer nutrient
Increase Crop Yield
· Sulphur fertilization significantly increased crop yields
by an average of 10%, and ranged from 7% to 15% on major agricultural crops in
over 85% of the total field trials of 603 completed in the last 10 years.
· Among the crops tested, citrus, soybean, sugarcane, sweet
potato, peanut, rapeseed and tea had the highest yield response at 10% or
· A total of 63 field trials were conducted to examine the
residual effect of sulfur fertilizer. Crop yields had been increased by S
fertilizers applied in the preceding crops in 35 field trials, ranging from 2%
to 7%, equivalent to 40 to 60% of the direct effect of S fertilizer.
· Better S fertilizer responses in crop yield were obtained
in most southern provinces where fertilizer consumption is high and soil S
deficiencies severe, such as Jiangsu, Yunnan, Jiangxi, Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong
and Guangxi Provinces.
Economic Benefits of Sulphur Fertilization
· The effect of S fertilization on crop yield and quality
resulted in higher fertilizer efficiency and higher economic returns to farmers
in all tested crops with the average Value to Cost Ratio (VCR) ranging from 9
for grain crops, to the highest of 40 for fruit crops.
· Sulphur fertilizer also increased nutrient uptake and
nutrient use efficiency, such as N and P. Sulphur fertilizer increased N uptake
by crops over the control by 3 to 57 kg/ha for grain crops; 15 to 63 kg/ha for
oil crops; 20 to 97 kg/ha for cash crops; which increased N fertilizer use
efficiencies by 4% to 40%.
· Sulphur fertilizer also increased P uptake over control by
1 to 5 kg/ha for grain and oil crops, which increased P fertilizer use
efficiency by 5% to 11%.