Revolutionizing Soybean Production

Revolutionizing Soybean Production

December 5, 2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of soybean production, farmers are embracing innovative strategies to enhance crop health, quality, and yield. As soybeans transition from being just a rotational crop to a primary revenue source, the demand for sophisticated management practices is on the rise. Sulfur, a key player in this transformation, is addressed through trusted fertilizers like ammonium sulfate (AMS) (dry 21-00-00-24S) and ammonium thiosulfate (ATS) (liquid 12-00-00-26S). Progressive growers are urged to explore these effective sulfur sources to elevate soybean production.

As soybean yields rise, so do the crop’s nutritional needs throughout the season. Soybean plants exhibit the ability to fix their nitrogen by the second trifoliate stage, a process that may take 3-4 weeks to occur in earlier plantings, particularly in cooler soils. Renowned for their high protein content, soybean seeds require not only nitrogen but also sulfur for vital protein synthesis. Both AMS and ATS play pivotal roles in enhancing soybean yields, particularly in early plantings in cooler soils. In Southern Ontario, a general rule of thumb suggests that “early plantings” (before May 20) are likely to experience a positive yield response when co-applying available nitrogen and sulfur sources like AMS and ATS.

Meeting Sulfur Needs in Changing Environments

Industrial emissions processing changes have resulted in a decrease in atmospheric sulfur. Historically, Ontario’s crops depended on sulfur delivered through rainfall to ensure robust yields. However, with minimal sulfur provided by precipitation, growers now need to address the crop’s sulfur requirements using alternative sources. Sulfur plays a pivotal role from planting through canopy fill and late-season development. In soybeans, its significance is particularly notable during pod filling, contributing to the maximization of bean size.

Advantages of AMS and ATS in Soybeans

AMS and ATS both stand out as fertilizers, offering distinct advantages for soybeans and catering to the crop’s dynamic nutritional needs across its growth stages. Both products demonstrate versatility, proving effective on various crops such as hay, corn, and wheat.

Ammonium Sulfate (AMS) 21-00-00-24S:
  1. Application Flexibility: AMS, a dry fertilizer, can be seamlessly blended with other nutrients like MAP and Potash for a broadcast application. For those utilizing dry fertilizer on the planter, it can be applied in a 2×2 band with dry starter fertilizer.
  2. Crop Availability: AMS boasts highly available forms of nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S), promoting early growth, especially in cooler soils.
  3. Ease of Handling and Consistency: AMS, in its dry prill form, can be handled with ease, similar to other dry fertilizers like MAP, potash, or urea.

Ammonium Thiosulfate (ATS) 12-00-00-26S:
  1. Application Flexibility: ATS, a liquid fertilizer, offers flexibility and can be applied with certain burndown herbicides (always refer to product labels). It is suitable for wheat and corn and can be blended with UAN 28% to enhance the nitrogen (N) content.
  2. Crop Availability: ATS features highly available nitrogen (N), and its sulfur is a combination of half available and half elemental sulfur, serving as a late-season nutrient source once soil bacteria convert it into a plant-available form.
  3. Ease of Handling and Consistency: ATS is compatible with most liquid fertilizer systems and can be conveniently stored on the farm in regular liquid fertilizer tanks.

On-The-Field Experience

Through the “Supplement Your Soybeans” initiative with Advansix, we are gaining valuable insights into the application of AMS in trial soybean fields. This program serves as a dynamic platform for sharpening the learning curve and uncovering key advantages that contribute to the success of soybean production.

This hands-on approach allows us to understand the real-world implications of AMS application in soybean fields, offering valuable lessons for optimizing its use. The trials conducted through the program highlight the role of AMS in maximizing crop performance. From application flexibility to nutrient consistency, the observed advantages underscore the potential of AMS to become a cornerstone in modern soybean production strategies.

Learn more about the Supplement Your Soybeans program at

Key Takeaways

As soybeans take center stage as a primary revenue source, the need for advanced management practices becomes paramount. Ammonium sulfate (AMS) and Ammonium thiosulfate ATS emerge as reliable and effective solutions to address the evolving nutritional needs of soybeans throughout their growth stages. From bridging the nutrient gap in high-yield scenarios to providing essential sulfur supplementation, AMS or ATS play a crucial role in enhancing soybean health, quality, and yield.

The “Supplement Your Soybeans” program serves as a testament to the practical advantages of AMS, providing a platform for growers and retailers to collaborate, learn, and collectively contribute to the success of soybean production.

In the pursuit of elevating soybean production, let Sylvite help you choose the best sulfur source for you. With a legacy of effectiveness and a future of innovation, AMS and ATS stand ready to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of soybean agriculture.

Additional Resources


Always consult with your local Sylvite agronomists for personalized recommendations based on the specific needs of your crops and soil. Contact Us