Role of Sulphur Nutrient In Oilseed Crops

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Oilseed crops are one of the most important crops in the world, they are Sunflower, groundnut, sesame, safflower, mustard and rapeseed. India is largest producer (36.10 million tonnes) and consumer (250 lakhs metric tonnes per year) of edible vegetable oil.

Sulphur is the fourth major plant nutrient after Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K).Indian agricultural soils have a low concentration of inorganic Sulphur compared to the organic form. Sulphur deficiency leads to a 40 percent reduction in the quality and quantity of oilseeds. Sulphur deficiency is becoming very common in many states of India.

Why Sulphur is an important nutrient in oilseed crops?

Sulphur plays an important role in formation of plant proteins, amino acids, some vitamins and enzymes, photosynthesis, energy metabolism, carbohydrate production, synthesis of protein.  Sulphur is an integral part of amino acids such as cystine, cysteine and methionine which are essential components of protein. The plants fed with sufficient sulphur in turn increases yield and oil content of the seeds.

Oilseed crops - Groundnut,sunflower,sesame,mustard

What are the deficiency Symptoms of Sulphur in oilseed crop?

The main symptom of sulphur nutrient deficiency is yellowing of younger leaves may be due to low chlorophyll production. Eventually plant growth will be reduced.

Deficiency of Sulphur in major oil seeds are listed below


        Deficiency Symptoms


·      Yellowing of plants with stunted growth can be         seen.

·      Delay in maturity.

·      Severe Sulphur deficiency leads the entire plant turn to yellow


·      Yellowing can be seen from base of the plant to top.

·      Slightly plant growth is reduced.

·      The size of capitulum is severely restricted.

·      Maturity of flowers is delayed


·      Stunted growth of plant is observed, leaves are smaller and fully emerged leaves first turn pale and then golden yellow.

·      Number of flowers and pods are reduced so yield will be less

Rapeseed and Mustard

·      Yellowing of younger leaves. Chlorosis of leaf margins, development of purple pigmentation.

·      Inward curling of young leaf lamina giving rise to a cupped appearance later in severe conditions withering can be observed.

 Oilseed crops - sunflower,groundnut

             Mustard and Sesame

How to overcome Sulphur Deficiency?

The Sulphur requirements of oilseeds can be overcome by supplying Sulphur containing fertilizers.

Sulphur nutrient may be supplemented to plants in both soil application as basal, top dressing, fertigation and also by foliar application.

Commercially available sulphur containing product. 

A.  Soil application grade

  1. Gypsum

Gypsum contains 16- 18% sulfate. Gypsum composed of calcium sulfate dehydrate (CaSO. 4· 2H2O) It is slightly soluble in water and widely used as a fertilizer (soil ameliorant)


      2.Ferrous sulphate (67 % iron and 53.33 % sulfur)

      3.Magnesium Sulphate

      4.Manganese sulphate.

      5.Bentomite sulphur (80%)

      6.Sulphur granules

       7.Ammonium sulphate ((NH4)3PO4) 

       8.Single Super Phosphate

SSP contains 11-12% Sulphur. It is commonly used fertilizer. It adds up Sulphur as    well as phosphorous.

       9.Ammonium Phosphate sulphate 13 % Sulphur

       10.Potassium sulfate

  It contains 17 – 18 % Sulphur. Potassium sulphate is highly soluble in water and excellent source of SO4- for plants

                         Single super phosphate ( SOP ) - BigHaat 

  B. Spray and fertigation grade

  1. Sulphur 80 % WP, WG and WDG formulation

  2. Liquid Sulphur

       It contains 20 % Sulphur. Usually comes in liquid form so it can be used for foliar application.

        Liquid Sulphur - BigHaat

The selection of appropriate source of Sulphur depends on the soil properties such as soil pH and organic matter. So, application of Sulphur increases yield as well as the oil content.


 Created By: 

 Navyashree M S

 Associate Agronomist



Courtesy: Google search


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1 comment

  • Diganta Thapa

    Good information, it is concise and useful.

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