Diagram from the study.
Flows of sulfur in landscapes and promising solutions for its sustainable management. Credit: Gerson and Hinckley [2023], Figure 2
Editors’ Highlights are summaries of recent papers by AGU’s journal editors.
Source: Earth’s Future

The agro-enviromental dimension of nitrogen and phosphorus has been heavily studied from the plot to global scales during the recent decades. Indeed, global databases such as FAOSTAT already include crop budgets for nitrogen, phosphorus and also potassium as the critical primary macronutrients. However, sulfur (S), a secondary macronutrient, has been much less studied despite its importance as a crop fertilizer and soil additive, as well as for the environmental problems that can be associated with poor management.

Gerson and Hinckley [2023] highlight the importance of including sulfur in crop nutrient budgeting from a multidisciplinary approach. They gather and discuss the available information on sulfur’s use and needs in cropping systems together with the environmental consequences of its overuse, including the acidification and toxicity of crop soils and nearby aquatic environments.

The authors remark on the need to establish adequate sulfur management plans and also propose measures and strategies for efficient management. The conclusion is clear: we cannot neglect the crucial role of sulfur in the sustainable management of cropping systems. Much more research is needed to reinforce the knowledge of sulfur science.

Citation: Gerson, J. R., & Hinckley, E.-L. S. (2023). It is time to develop sustainable management of agricultural sulfur. Earth’s Future, 11, e2023EF003723. https://doi.org/10.1029/2023EF003723

Luis Lassaletta, Associate Editor, Earth’s Future

he logo for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2 is at left. To its right is the following text: The research reported here supports Sustainable Development Goal 2. AGU is committed to supporting the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.
Text © 2023. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
Except where otherwise noted, images are subject to copyright. Any reuse without express permission from the copyright owner is prohibited.