2 June 1995

Doubtful about sulphurs value

DO YORKSHIRE oilseed rape crops need sulphur?

A leading farmer in the area isnt convinced, but is determined to find the answer.

This year Philip Huxtable, technical director of JSR Farms, has laid down trials at Haywold, an 809ha (2000-acre) arable unit on the Yorkshire Wolds.

"I accept sulphur may be needed in the south-west and in Scotland, and it may be needed here in five years time. But my own trials and ARC work suggest it is not needed here yet. There has been no response," he says.

With industrial rape being grown on set-aside in preference to natural regeneration, plots have received 19kg/ha (15 units/acre) and 23kg/ha (18 units/acre) of sulphur as a second dressing along with nitrogen. The rest of the commercial crop has been untreated.

The trial will be followed to harvest with checks on yield and oil content. "If there is a worthwhile response, we will use sulphur commercially on all our rape crops," says Mr Huxtable. &#42