The ROI of Sulfur on Soybeans

by | Nov 2, 2020 | Ag

SO4 on Soybeans Pays
With current commodity prices and a dynamic operating environment, many folks in ag are pushing the pencil to see where they can generate more revenue. Several of our dealers have developed sulfur fertility programs on soybeans using SO4 and have seen great return on the investment.

You can assume about a $10 to $12/acre cost of SO4 at 100 lbs/acre application rate. At a soybean price of $10.00, that means a grower only needs about 1 bushel extra to break even, and we typically see 3-5 bushels/acre. That means SO4 on soybeans has a 3:1 return on investment.

Sulfur and Calcium Benefit Soybean Plants
The predominant use of SO4 is on corn, but each year, we see more evidence of the benefits of sulfur and calcium on soybeans. Sulfur is an important part of protein synthesis, while the calcium is essential for cell wall strength to protect against pathogens. AMS, a common sulfur fertilizer, is an acidifying fertilizer that contains nitrogen, which can negatively affect soybean nodulation by tricking the plant into thinking it doesn’t need to fix nitrogen like it normally would.

As we work toward finishing harvest and getting fall fertilizer out, we encourage growers to talk to their agronomists and look at SO4 on soybeans. Many growers and agronomists include 75-100 lbs/acre of SO4, often combined with potash, as part of their preparation for the upcoming soybean crop.

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