The Importance of Sulfur in Potatoes

The Role of Sulfur
Often referred to as the fourth major nutrient, sulfur helps support plant functions that can affect yield, quality and marketability in a potato crop. These include aiding:

  • Nutrient uptake
  • Chlorophyll production
  • Seed development
  • Stress and pest resistance
  • Carbohydrate formation
  • Vitamin synthesis


Signs of sulfur deficiency in potato plants can range from the plant turning a lighter green color to a yellowing and upward curving of the leaves. Slowed growth rates, delayed maturity and spindly plants can be a result.

It is also important to note that numerous studies from around the world indicate that the sulfur component of fertilizer has shown to positively impact yields.1

“ Based on years of cumulative experience with sulfur testing, almost every soil tested does not have enough sulfur to produce top yields unless it is specifically added as part of the fertility program.” – Neal Kinsey and Charles Walters, Hands-On Agronomy, Acres U.S.A., August 1999

The Elevated Need for Sulfur in Potatoes
Sulfur deficiencies have become more common in recent years due to a number of factors:

  • Higher air quality standards have lowered sulfur emissions
  • Increased crop yields draw a greater amount of sulfur out of the soil
  • More use of relatively sulfur-free nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers reduce sulfur replacement


To learn more about how SOP can enhance the yield and quality of your potato crop, contact us today.

1 Beaton, JD, 1996, Bertrand, D and Wolf, A, 1964, Gisinger, L, 1962 © 2011 – 2012 Great Salt Lake Minerals Corporation