Gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate (CaSO4·2H2O). It is widely mined and used as a fertilizer in the United States. This is due to its restorative properties of recovering degraded sodium soils and improving soil properties.
Key Benefits of Gypsum
- Decrease the volatilization loss of Nitrogen Ammonia
- Improve Soil Structure
- Improve Fruit Quality
- Prevent Plant Disease
- Correct Soil Acidity
- Provide Calcium and Sulfur
- Improve the Physical Property of Soil
Decrease the Volatilization Loss of Nitrogen Ammonia
Gypsum is composed of Calcium. Calcium has a known ability to decrease the amount of ammonium hydroxide loss. By maintaining proper ammonium hydroxide levels plant root nitrogen absorption greatly improves.
Gypsum Improves Soil Structure
The soil must have a solid foundational structure so that it can sustain an environment for root growth, air movement, and water movement. Luckily, gypsum has been used for many years to enhance the aggregate formation and inhibit dispersion.
Calcium is one of the main drivers for flocculation (a process by which colloidal particles come out of suspension). It is a means by which soil structure can be improved since calcium improves porosity, helping to increase water infiltration. Additionally, it can balance the dispersion effects of magnesium and sodium ions. In effect, promoting flocculation and structural development.
Improves Fruit Quality and Prevents Plant Disease
Plant growth is dependent on several minerals. However, Calcium is a nutrient that has limited mobility within the plant and thus must be available constantly and in adequate amounts. Since Calcium is a conduit for crucial plant growth, its absence decreases plant quality and leaves plants susceptible to disease. Calcium is very important in the fruiting process.
Improves Roots Reserves
Agricultural gypsum can improve the acidity of the soil, treat aluminum toxicity, enhance deeper rooting, increase nutrient availability, and promote growth. Even more than lime!
The benefit comes from the sulfate and iron hydroxide ion reaction that releases hydroxyl ions. Gypsum can decrease the pH from a range of 8-9 to 7.5-7.8.
Gypsum Provides Calcium and Sulfur for Plant Nutrition
Plants are increasingly deficient in Sulfur and Calcium; gypsum is one of the best ways to nourish the soil. Gypsum has homeostatic solubility levels that provide a continuous release of Sulfur and Calcium to the soil.
Improve the Physical Properties of Soil
Soil structure is defined as the arrangement of primary mineral particles and organic substances in larger units known as aggregates.
Gypsum helps reduce the dispersion of clays that lead to crust formation and reduces the drying speed of the surface. Thus, the rate of development of the crusts and the final resistance is affected by the additions of gypsum, significantly improving the speed and crop growth.