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Influence of sulphur supply on yield and quality of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) – determination of a threshold value

  • Autor/in: Hoffmann, C., N. Stockfisch, H.-J. Koch
  • Jahr: 2004
  • Zeitschrift: Europ. Journal of Agronomy
  • Verlag: 21
  • Seite/n: 69-80
  • Stichworte: Zuckerrübe, Schwefel, Ertrag, Qualität, Grenzwert, Boden
Gefunden in Abteilung Pflanzenbau


In the last 20 years, several crops such as oil seed rape and cereals have developed sulphur deficiency symptoms with subsequent yield reductions due to decreasing S deposition. The study aimed at (1) defining indicators for the S status of sugar beet and at (2) determining threshold values of internal S concentrations which affect yield and quality. For this purpose, the effect of S supply on S concentration and N/S ratio in leaves and on yield and technical quality of sugar beet was analysed. A field survey with 200 sites was conducted and S treatments were performed in 33 field trials and 4 pot experiments. In the field survey, the mineral S content in soil in spring did not affect S concentration in sugar beet leaves in July. In accordance, there was no effect of S application on yield and quality of sugar beet in the field trials, indicating that S was available in sufficient amounts. In pot experiments, beet yield and sucrose concentration decreased, while potassium, sodium and amino N concentration in the beet considerably increased with extremely low S supply. With S concentrations above 0.3 % (range of 0.28 to 0.32 %) in young leaf blades, which equalled N/S ratios below 20, no changes in yield or quality occurred as a result of S application, indicating that the plants were adequately supplied with sulphur. Plants from field trials and pot experiments reached maximum yields with the same S concentrations in the leaf blades. This good agreement leads to the conclusion that these threshold values do not depend on growing conditions and are therefore a general characteristic for sugar beet. S concentration and N/S ratio in the blades of young sugar beet leaves sampled in July are thus suggested as suitable indicators for the plant’s S status.
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