Agricultural gypsum is a soil conditioner and a source of calcium and sulfur
Agricultural gypsum as a useful soil improver has been used for many years to fertilize the land. It is a very soft mineral composed of the calcium sulfate dihydrate (CaSO4 2H2O). The Greeks and the Romans were the first to use this mineral as a fertilizer. there is the evidence that the Europeans resumed its use in the 18th century.
It is currently used to recover degraded sodic soils and improve various physical properties of the soil. Thanks to its components, agricultural plaster is moderately soluble in water and 200 times more soluble than agricultural lime. The solubility of gypsum allows it to move more easily through the soil profile. In conclusion: Agricultural gypsum (calcium sulfate) is an excellent improver of soil physical and chemical properties.
Agricultural gypsum, calcium and sulfur source
Calcium maintains the structure of agricultural soils, favors the growth and development of roots. In addition, it facilitates the absorption of nutrients and water from the soil. Within the plant, calcium strengthens its structure and collaborates in its rigidity, what’s more. contributes to the defense against pathogens and phytotoxicities. Calcium also acts as catalyst for many hormonal reactions, so at the end of the process influences quality and production.
The calcium presence in agricultural soil is essential for good harvest, so it must be constantly available for the roots. Calcium additions from a source such as agricultural gypsum can improve horticultural crops quality. Root crops seem to be especially sensitive to calcium. for example the use of gypsum as a calcium fertilizer for peanuts is well known in the southeast. Adequate amounts of calcium must be present for the proper development of peanuts. Peanut root rot caused by Phytophthora. blossom end rot in watermelon and tomato, and bitter-pit in apples are also partially controlled with agricultural gypsum applications.
For its part, sulfur acts as a defense mechanism against pests and some plant diseases. its use is accepted to treat powdery. mildew/oidiopsis, red spider, eriophyids, mites, erinosis among others. On the other hand, sulfur is capable of balancing the pH of soils. Agricultural gypsum is used as a source of sulfur in many soils deficient in this macronutrient. where improvements in production have been obtained in crops such as corn, soybeans, canola and alfalfa.
Gypsum has ability to provide continuous sulfur release and calcium in soil for a long time, given its moderate solubility. Gypsum applications, in root crops such as peanuts which have high calcium requirements, improve the production and quality of crops. Additionally, the agricultural gypsum can improve the soil structure and the water infiltration, which can further benefit the crop growth.