Most of the Sulphur in soils in found in organic matter

Most of the Sulphur in soils is found soil in organic matter. However, it is not available to plants in this form. In order to become available to plants, the Sulphur must be first released from the organic matter and go through mineralization process.

The mineralization process is a result of microbial activity. In this process Sulphur is converted to the sulfate form (SO4-2), which is readily available to plants. The process is affected by the C/S ratio, temperature and moisture.


Functions of Sulphur and Sulphur deficiency

Sulphur is essential for plant growth and functioning. Sulfate taken up by the roots is the primary Sulphur source for growth, but additionally plants are able to utilize absorbed Sulphur gases by the shoot. Sulphur improves the efficiency of other essential plant nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus.


Sulphur deficiency in plants

Sulphur deficiency* in animals

The plants turn yellow Decreased wool production
Reduced Phosphorus and Nitrogen uptakes Retarded growth
Clovers grow better in urine patches *Excessive Sulphur may induce copper/selenium deficiency in cattle
Slow pasture growth
Poor protein levels
An Illustration of the Sulphur cycle in soil.

Sulphur as a chemical element

Sulphur is a chemical element with the symbol S and atomic number 16. It is abundant, multivalent, and nonmetallic. Under normal conditions, Sulphur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with a chemical formula S8. Elemental Sulphur is a bright yellow, crystalline solid at room temperature. It is one of the core chemical elements needed for biochemical functioning and is an elemental macronutrient for all living organisms.

Sulphur is an essential element for all life, but almost always in the form of organosulfur compounds or metal sulfides. Three amino acids (cysteine, cystine, and methionine) and two vitamins (biotin and thiamine) are organosulfur compounds. Many cofactors also contain sulfur, including glutathione, thioredoxin, and iron–sulfur proteins. Disulfides, S–S bonds, confer mechanical strength and insolubility of the protein keratin, found in outer skin, hair, and feathers.