Sulfur Deficiency in Corn

Symptoms of Sulfur Deficiency in Corn

Sulfur deficiency can sometimes be confused with Nitrogen deficiency. Sulfur deficient plants have an overall yellow appearance similar to Nitrogen deficiency. However, Sulfur is not as mobile in the plant as Nitrogen, so the lower leaves do not show severer deficiency symptoms than the upper leaves. Sulfur deficiency may also cause leaf striping in corn.

Corn Sulfur Deficiency Image

Sulfur Deficiency: Overall yellow appearance

Corn Sulfur Deficiency Image 2

Sulfur Deficiency: Leaf striping

See Additional Deficiencies:

About Sulfur

Sulfur is required in the plant for the formation of amino acids and proteins and is essential to photosynthesis. Sulfur has become an increasing limitation to cropping due to expanding yields. Continued use of high-analysis fertilizers with little or no Sulfur and reduced atmospheric deposition in rainfall has lowered Sulfur input into cropping systems.

Functions of Sulfur

  • Component of amino acids and proteins
  • Aids in nodule formation of sugars and starches

Sulfur Deficiency is Made Worse By:

  • Acidic conditions
  • Poor aeration