This story published by AG Professional details how gypsum can be used to improve soil quality and increase the absorption of nutrients into the soil, thus reducing runoff.
Here are some highlights:
- Synthetic gypsum, or calcium sulfate dihydrate, transforms tight clay soils into porous or “friable” soils that allow water and air to infiltrate efficiently, Norton said. In addition to contributing to soil structural changes, gypsum provides a supply of needed soil nutrients, including sulfur that is depleted in many agricultural soils today.
- Gypsum has been shown to reduce runoff and soil loss, as well as soluble reactive phosphorus levels in agricultural fields. In late 2012, gypsum application was added to Ohio’s conservation practice standards issued by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). A field study led by The Ohio State University is being launched this spring to further measure the impact of gypsum applications in reducing nutrient losses on cooperator farms in the Maumee River and Grand Lake St. Marys watersheds.
- The March 7 symposium drew attention to a new supply of high quality and lower cost synthetic gypsum called flue gas desulfurization gypsum or FGD gypsum. FGD gypsum is produced as a co-product in wet scrubbing systems used to clean sulfur emissions at certain coal-fired utilities. Gypsum is also produced as a co-product at some food-grade industrial manufacturing facilities. Synthetic gypsum has the same basic chemical composition as mined gypsum.
- Approximately 120 power plants nationwide have modern scrubbing systems that produce roughly 25-30 million tons of co-product gypsum each year, according to Robert Spoerri. Spoerri is chief executive officer of Beneficial Reuse Management (BRM), the company that markets GYPSOIL brand gypsum. BRM is permitted to market GYPSOIL in 17 states throughout the Midwest, Mid-South and Southeast regions of the United States.