Over 80% of the United States is now sulfur deficient. This has happened as a result of us cleaning up the power plants and the reduction of "acid rain." The term acid rain sounds scary but sulfur is an essential element to all plant growth. It helps to convert nitrogen and a side benefit is the sweetening effect for forages.
A second area many overlook is micro nutrients. Zinc, Manganese, Copper, Cobalt, Boron are all important for plant stress reduction and overall growth and health benefits. These micros are all relatively inexpensive and yet very few people in the food plot world are using them. In the farming community more crop farmers are utilizing micros and are seeing significant benefits to adding them into their program.
I try to get all my clients to use sulfur in the form of ammonium sulfate. I recommend 50 pounds per acre once a year for the first couple years. It is wise to change soil sulfur levels by taking soil samples every two years. When we use ammonium sulfate we realize higher plant protein levels as well as significant growth responses.The 50 pounds of ammonium sulfate only costs one $16 per acre.
Trace minerals can be incorporated by using Grandpa Ray Outdoor's 4-15-12 seed starter, 9-4-9 plant foods or our humic booster product. Using 2 applications of 1 quart per acre only costs one $12.50 per acre per year.
I attached a chart showing the economic benefits of inclusion of ammonium sulfate and micro nutrients to your wildlife program. The first line shows a clover plot with no ammonium sulfate or micro nutrients. Line two shows the benefits of calcium, phosphorous, protein and net energy if one doesn't see any additional growth.
Line 3 shows a 10% response in growth and quality. You really start to see significant benefits. Last line that shows 20% increase in growth and the addition of quality response on minerals, protein and energy, you realize how that level gives one a real high return on your investment. By spending $16 on a bag of ammonium sulfate and $12.50 on foliar plant foods, that $28.50 per acre investment gives one a return of over $90 per acre. That means that one just paid for their seed and perhaps most of your fertilizers by working with G.R.O. and doing better by using overlooked areas of fertility.
Happy Food Plotting.