Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland

Sulfate leaching in a crop rotation – lysimeter results from 1991 to 2000

Sulfate leaching was determined with following crops: winter wheat, spring wheat, winter oak, rape, corn, potato, sugar beet and grass-clover mixture. Under the conditions of the lysimeter experiment at Zurich-Reckenholz (1000 mm annual precipitation, 400 mm from October to March), green manure before potato, corn and sugar beet – mineral sulphur fertilization and the crop sequence was the most important factor for sulfate concentration in the leaching water at 2.5 m depth. Concentration of sulfate was not as much seasonally determined as the one of nitrate. Sulphur leaching was 50 to 90 kg S/ha*year depending on crop and fertilization. Yearly sulfur-balance showed a mean loss of 70 kg S/ha which in farming-systems without organic manure should partially be compensated by adequate choice of fertilizer.

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