In July, Nutrien announced the launch of its new Smart Nutrition MAP+MST fertilizer powered by Micronized Sulphur Technology (MST), which combines micronized sulphur with monoammonium phosphate (MAP) to give crops consistent nutrition.
When applied in the fall, sulphur stays in its elemental form and won’t leach, so it’s available the following spring while freeing up valuable time for seeding operations.
MST is a patented technology that reduces the elemental sulphur source to an average particle size of 15 microns. The smaller particle size allows for quicker elemental sulphur oxidation, which is necessary to make it available for plants to take up.
“Smart Nutrition MAP+MST integrates micronized elemental sulphur directly into the MAP granule during production. The uniform distribution of MST in each granule allows for maximum soil-to-fertilizer contact, resulting in an increased oxidation rate compared with other forms of elemental sulphur that have a larger particle size,” says Cristie Preston, a senior agronomist with Nutrien.
MAP+MST also has a high-nutrient density, says Preston. “That’s important because when growers apply phosphorus or sulphur, they want to get high enough rates of both out there, and MAP+MST has high concentrations of both, so growers can decrease their application rates to meet their yield goals, while saving time and trips across the field,” she says.
Special recommendations for Western Canada
Sulphur is an essential macronutrient that is needed for many basic plant functions and growth. As farmers continue to grow crops with higher yield potential, they are not always applying enough sulphur to achieve the highest yields or replenish the amount these crops are removing, meaning they increasingly have to apply sulphur fertilizer to maintain crop performance.
In Western Canada, which tends to have cooler soils for longer periods of time in the spring, Nutrien recommends farmers use a blend of 75 per cent MAP+MST and 25 per cent AMS (ammonium sulphate).
“In more northern climates, with cooler growing seasons, we want to ensure that growers have some sulphur available early in the growing season from the AMS, which is already in a plant-available form, and then the sulphur from the MST is released slowly throughout the rest of the growing season,” says Preston.
Because the sulphur in MAP+MST oxidizes slowly it can be applied in spring or fall. “Growers can apply MST in the fall after the soil temperature is below 10 C, when microbial activity decreases, and that means oxidization rates also slow down. The sulphur stays in its elemental form and won’t leach, so it’s available next spring,” says Preston.
More information about Smart Nutrition can be found at smartnutritionmst.com.