Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



Sulfur and Zn are two elements essential for plant growth. Deficiencies of these two plant nutrients occur commonly in many areas of the world. Zinc deficiency symptoms were noted in corn in South Dakota during the late nineteen fifties. In the summer of 1970, S deficiency symptoms appeared in corn (Zea mays L.) grown on sandy soils in Marshall County, South Dakota. Zinc deficiencies of corn occur more often when corn is grown on soils that are characterized by one or more of the following properties: sandy texture, low organic matter, severe past erosion, leveled for irrigation, high lime level, or high P level. Sulfur deficiencies are more prominent in corn and legumes. Sulfur deficiencies are commonly associated with the following soil properties: low organic matter, sandy texture, or acid soil reaction. One of the problems related to knowing which soils need S and Zn fertilizer applications for agricultural crops is the establishment of soil tests which predict the S and Zn supplying status of the soil. A soil test for a particular nutrient can be calibrated by correlation of soil tests with plant nutrient concentration, plant nutrient uptake; dry matter yield, or grain yield. A preliminary study conducted by Ward, Pfeifer, and Carson revealed that there was a need for a S extracting procedure. More work was needed to find a test giving values more closely correlated with plant S concentration under South Dakota conditions. South Dakota State University presently uses a O.1N HCl extraction procedure for soil Zn determinations. Since several new methods for soil Zn determinations have been developed recently, an evaluation of these new procedures under South Dakota conditions was considered necessary. The main objective of this study was to establish Zn and S soil tests that predict the Zn and S supplying status of South Dakota soils. The Zn and S supplying abilities were determined by measuring corn yield responses to an application of Zn or S and by measuring the nutrient concentration levels in the corn plants at two stages of growth. Another objective was to determine yield response of corn from the addition of Zn and S on soils in the Brown and Marshall County area of South Dakota.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Trace elements
Plants -- Nutrition
Zinc -- Physiological effect



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University