The recent 2000 Environmental Protection Agency report shows sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions æ long a source of “free” sulphur for crops æ along the eastern coast of the United States declining dramatically for the 10-year study period 1989-1998.

During this period, rural areas along the East Coast saw SO2 levels fall 38 percent. Overall, SO2 levels fell 39 percent across the U.S. during the 1989-1998 reporting period.

Sulphate concentration in precipitation, a major source of sulphur for growing plants, experienced a dramatic reduction as well. Based on 1983-1994 trends, sulphur concentrations fell an additional 10-25 percent below the trend lines across the eastern U.S.

Reduced atmospheric sulphur combined with increased wheat yields and lower levels of sulphur in today's high-analysis fertilizers are creating an increased need for sulphur fertilizers in the crop nutrient program, notes Donald Messick, an agronomist with The Sulphur Institute, Washington, D.C.

Providing adequate sulphur to the growing wheat plant insures optimal yields of grain and forage, he stresses.

For a free, non-commercial brochure about sulphur fertilizer need and use, send name, address and list of crops grown to The Sulphur Institute. Fax: 202-293-2940. Email: agmarkt@sulphurinstitute.org.