Plant Nutrient Deficiency

Is your crop suffering from nutrient deficiency? Inadequate levels of any of these essential plant nutrients can have major effects on crop growth, health and yield. Click on the links below to find out more about the importance of each of key nutrient and how to identify the causes of symptoms of deficiency.

Sulphur nutrient deficiency in plants

sulphur nutrient deficiency

Positive blue diphenylamine test for nitrate in normal green (left and sulphur deficient yellow (right) leaves. Source: APS Digital Image Collections.


Taken up as ionic Sulphate SO4-, Sulphur links with Nitrogen to build protein and promote canopy development.


While Nitrogen is a growth promoter, Sulphur is a growth regulator, effectively balancing the manufacture of sugars and proteins in leaf tissue with the demand from these materials throughout the plant. As such, Sulphur plays a central role in maintaining green leaf area, growth rates and delaying senescence. Sulphur nutrient deficiency reduces Nitrogen metabolism, leaf expansion and plant development


Similar in appearance to Nitrogen stress, low Sulphur status induces a pale yellow chlorosis of the entire plant. Plants produce smaller leaves with lower chlorophyll and slower growth rates. Low Sulphur status can lead to elevated leaf concentrations of free Nitrogen, which can increase insect and disease pressure.

Sulphur nutrient deficiency in rice

Sulphur deficiency in rice


As mobility within the soil is very high, Sulphur demand is not often met without supplementation. Sulphur nutrient deficiency will restrict plant response to Nitrogen, influencing growth rates, senescence and disease resistance. Sulphur stress is often worse in cold, wet, compacted soils.


Check soil status and correct if necessary. Apply Sulphur with Nitrogen fertiliser. Foliar feed Sulphur during times of rapid growth, peak stress or high disease pressure.



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