Antipollution legislation may be affecting sulfur levels in Pennsylvania soils, says a Penn State University agronomist.

In a Penn State survey of alfalfa tissue tests, just over 10% came back low in sulfur, points out Doug Beegle.

“It looks like sulfur may be our next fertility concern,” Beegle says. “If a grower is producing high yields, he may want to consider sulfur as the next limiting factor.”

The 84 samples in the survey were all from silt loam soils. Deficiencies are most likely in sandy soils and/or where no manure has been applied.

Sulfur depositions from acid rain are down 25% in the Northeast since 1995, when the Clean Air Act required power plants to cut sulfur dioxide emissions.