Sep 19, 2014
Home| Tools| Events| Blogs| Discussions| Sign UpLogin

CornCollegeBanner home

Ask an Agronomist

RSS By: Farm Journal Agronomists, Farm Journal

Have your agronomic questions answered by a Farm Journal agronomist. E-mail us directly at, and we’ll respond on this blog to provide an interactive dialogue.

Does Gypsum Provide Any Real Benefit to Soils?

Nov 18, 2011

Question: Does gypsum offer any real benefit to soil?

Answer: Farmers use the naturally occurring mineral to improve soil tilth, water infiltration and nitrogen uptake in their fields. According to the American Coal Ash Association, a utility industry group, farmers used 279,000 tons of gypsum in 2008. That’s more than three times the amount they used in 2002. With gypsum, the soil structure becomes more sponge-like, so even tight clay soils readily absorb water and move it down through the soil profile, rather than allowing it to pond or run off, according to Ron Chamberlain, director of gypsum programs for Beneficial Reuse Management. The company sells a synthetic gypsum product, Gypsoil, for agricultural use. Synthetic gypsum is a byproduct of fossil-fueled power plants that work to remove sulfur dioxide from flue gases in an effort to curb pollution and comply with clean air regulations. In recent years, synthetic gypsum has gained ground with farmers because of its availability and lower price. Purdue University research indicates that gypsum also offsets the impact of aluminum toxicity in low pH soils, helps curb phosphorus runoff and increases iron uptake by reducing the effects of bicarbonates. Some seed companies are conducting field research to determine whether the soil benefits from gypsum also support increased crop yields. To date, the data shows mixed results.
Log In or Sign Up to comment


No comments have been posted, be the first one to comment.

Hot Links & Cool Tools


facebook twitter youtube View More>>
The Home Page of Agriculture
© 2014 Farm Journal, Inc. All Rights Reserved|Web site design and development by|Site Map|Privacy Policy|Terms & Conditions