Agricultural gypsum is applied to provide Calcium and Sulphur as well as to loosen compacted soils such as the black cotton soil.
Benefits of Gypsum
- A source of calcium and sulphur to boost soil fertility
- Improves the soil structure for root growth and penetration
- Improves the movement of air and water through the soil profile
- Loosens and breaks up compact soils like clay soils, black cotton soils
- Prevents aluminum toxicity to plants in acidic soils
- Increases the capacity of the soil to soak up water
- Helps roots to avoid taking in a lot sodium in high sodium soils
Importance of applying Gypsum
Gypsum provides Calcium and Sulphur nutrients for soil fertility. It causes better seedling emergence; deeper root growth and enhanced soil life. Nutrients supplied by gypsum can continue to be available in subsequent growth periods depending on the initial application rate.
Gypsum helps to improve the black cotton soil by working on this clay soils and making them easier to break down. It improves sodic soils (soils high in sodium) by the action of the calcium displacing the sodium which then forms sodium sulphate that leaches through the soil.
It works on the clay soils reducing their swelling when wet and subsequent crusting and cracking on drying. It makes them less likely to be water logged when wet. Such a soil forms a seedbed that promotes higher plant density due to increased seedling emergence.
Gypsum reduces aluminum toxicity that is prevalent in acidic soils. Aluminum becomes available to plants in acidic soils leading to stunting or death of the plants. It is able to prevent aluminum uptake at depth and promotes the deeper rooting of plants.
Abundant root growth accompanied by deeper penetration into the soil profile means that the plant can take in more water and nutrients even during the dry periods.
Gypsum increases the ability of the soil to soak in more water during rainfall or upon irrigation. It reduces water runoff and is a good soil erosion control. It improves soil aeration and water percolation through the soil profile.