Gypsum for arable

Recycled Calcium Sulphate (CaSO4. 2H2O) containing 22% Calcium and 19% Sulphur.

A highly consistent, free flowing spreadable product with a highly accredited purity level. Acid soils are naturally low in Calcium therefore where additional Calcium is needed; gypsum is an ideal source for these crops. Potatoes and carrots are often grown in acidic soils to control common scab and cavity spot. In these conditions gypsum will help prevent common scab and reduce cavity spot and improve the skin quality.

The product has a unique blend of properties that contribute positively to the Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) and nutrient storage in the soil. This relationship between the elements of Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Sodium as positively charged ions plays a very important role in modern day crop production. In potato and carrot production we have successfully seen a series of benefits to our customers.
Our product is recognised and accredited by the Soil Association for use in Organic Crop Production.

Gypsum is highly soluble, therefore it is an excellent source of calcium and sulphur, especially on acid loving crops.

Gypsum has been widely used in global agriculture for many years principally to:

  • Add calcium without raising the pH of the soil
  • For crops that require higher levels of Sulphur and / or Calcium
  • On light sandy soils that do not hold nutrients
  • On crops that require acidic soils
  • To obtain calcium and sulphur in their most soluble form
  • To improve the calcium / magnesium ratio
  • To correct salt damage
  • To help in waterlogged areas

Gypsum has been used to improve soil structure. The calcium in the gypsum increases the ability of the soil particles to flocculate. This is the formation of small crumbs in the soil structure which is needed for good rooting, drainage and nutrient uptake.

For land which has a high magnesium content the application of Gypsum has transformed the soil properties to enable a dramatic reduction in the required horse power to work the soils more easily.

Typical Analysis

All elements expressed as elemental

Why is it needed?

Where land is flooded by salt water, the Sodium in the salt replaces calcium ions on the soil cation exchange sites. The sodium ion, which has a single positive charge is much less effective than the calcium ion which has a double positive charge at holding the particles together. As a result, water is attracted to the clay particles by osmosis and this causes the soil particles to swell and disperse. Creating a collapse of the soil structure leading to poor drainage.

How does it work?

When the gypsum is applied to the poorly structured land, the calcium in the gypsum displaces the sodium which is holding on to the soil particles. The displaced sodium then chemically combines with the sulphate in the gypsum to form a sodium sulphate solution which is then lost through drainage water. Soil structure is then restored as water is no longer attracted to the soil particles due to the calcium holding onto the soil, which flocculates (turns into small crumb size soils).

How much to apply?

Gypsum should be applied at between 2-6t/ac (5- 13t/ha), as a little and often rotational approach; depending on structure of the soil. To ensure the exact amounts are applied standard soil analysis should be carried out along with Exchangeable Sodium Chloride and Conductivity.

Studies have shown that grain yield and test results were not significantly related to application rates, although there was a slight positive trend. Application rates positively affect soil exchangeable calcium levels and cause a modest reduction in soil penetrometer resistance readings. The boron levels did not appear to cause any damage and any small fragments of paper backing from the drywall all appeared to have decomposed within 11 months.

Spreading is carried out by our Bredal belt spreader’s, fitted with dust suppression equipment.

All Gypsum sold by JSE-Systems Ltd is produced under the PAS 109 protocol so that we can guaranteed the best quality product is delivered and spread on your land.

A list of the wide ranging benefits for using gypsum in crop production

  1. Improves Soil Structure Gypsum provides calcium, which is needed to flocculate clays in soil. Flocculation is the process in which many individual small clay particles are bound together in fewer but larger particles. This allows root growth and air and water movement.
  2. Reclaims Saline Soils Gypsum is the most economical way to reclaim saline soils. The calcium replaces the sodium held on the clay-binding sites. The sodium can then be leached from the soil as sodium sulphate to an appropriate sink. The sulphate is the residue from the gypsum.
  3. Prevents Soil Crusting/Aids Seed Emergence Gypsum can prevent crust formation on soil surfaces which result from rain drops or sprinkler irrigation on unstable soil. The gypsum is either surface applied or put in the irrigation system. Prevention of crust formation means more seed emergence, more rapid seed emergence, and easily a few days sooner to harvest and market.
  4. Improves Low-Solute Irrigation Water Irrigation water from rivers that no longer have sources of leachable salts either penetrates poorly into soil or causes soil particles to degrade, which results in low water penetration. This can be corrected with the use of gypsum.
  5. Improves Compacted Soil Soil compaction can be prevented by not ploughing or driving machinery on soil when it’s too wet. The compaction in many soils can be decreased with gypsum, especially when combined with deep tillage. Combination with organic amendments also helps, especially in preventing return of the compaction.
  6. Makes Moist Soils Easier to Cultivate Soils that have been treated with gypsum have a wider range of soil moisture levels where it is safe to cultivate without danger of compaction or deflocculating. This is accompanied with greater ease of tillage and more effective seedbed preparation and weed control. Less energy is needed for the tillage.
  7. Stops Water Runoff and Erosion Gypsum improves water infiltration rates into soils and the hydraulic conductivity of the soil. It is protection against excess water runoff from especially large storms that accompany erosion.
  8. Prevents Water logging of Soil Gypsum improves the ability of soil to drain and not become waterlogged due to a combination of high sodium, swelling clay and excess water. Improvements of infiltration rate and hydraulic conductivity with use of gypsum add to the ability of soils to have adequate drainage.
  9. Binds Organic Matter to Clay Gypsum is a source of calcium which is a major mechanism that binds organic matter to clay in soil. This gives stability to soil aggregates. The value of organic matter is increased when it is applied with gypsum.
  10. Makes Polymer Soil Conditioners More Effective Gypsum increases the beneficial effects of water-soluble polymers used as amendments to improve soil structure. Just as with organic matter, the calcium in the gypsum is the mechanism which binds the water-soluble polymers to the clay in soil.
  11. Makes Magnesium Non-Toxic In soils having unfavourable calcium: magnesium ratios, such as serpentine soils, gypsum can create a more favourable ratio.
  12. Corrects Subsoil Acidity Gypsum can improve some acid soils even more then lime. Surface crusting can be prevented. The effects of toxic soluble aluminium can be decreased, even in the subsoil where lime will not penetrate. It is then possible to have deeper rooting with resulting benefits to the crops. Gypsum is now being widely used on acid soils.
  13. Improves Water Use Efficiency Gypsum increases water-use efficiency of crops. In times of drought, this is extremely important. Improved water infiltration rates, improved hydraulic conductivity of soil and better water storage in the soil all lead to deeper rooting and better water-use efficiency. From 25 to 100 percent more water is available in gypsum-treated soils due to less runoff.
  14. Helps Plants Absorb Nutrients Calcium, which is supplied in gypsum, is essential to the mechanisms by which most plant nutrients are absorbed by roots.
  15. Prevents Heavy Metal Toxicity Calcium acts as a regulator of the balance of particularly the micro nutrients, such as iron, zinc, manganese and copper in plants. It also regulates non-essential trace elements. Calcium prevents excess uptake of many of them, and, once they are in the plant, calcium keeps them from having adverse effects when their levels get high.
  16. Increases Value of Organics Gypsum adds to the value of organic amendments. Blends of gypsum and organics increase the value of each other as a soil amendment.
  17. Improves Vegetable Quality; Prevents Some Diseases Good vegetable quality requires an adequate amount of calcium. Calcium moves very slowly, if at all. Calcium must be constantly available to the roots. This is especially true in very high pH soils. Gypsum is preferred over lime for potatoes grown in acid soils so that scab may be controlled.
  18. Provides a Source of Sulphur Gypsum contains sulphate, a natural form of sulphur which is readily available for soil needs and plant up-take. This replenishes the sulphur which is no longer being added to the soil due to the use of high-analysis fertilisers, which contain very little, if any, sulphur.
  19. Helps Prepare Soil for No-Till Management A liberal application of gypsum is a good procedure when starting a piece of land into no-till soil management or into pasture crops. Improved soil aggregation and permeability will last for years and surface-applied fertilisers will more easily penetrate into the soil.
  20. Decreases Bulk Density of Soil Gypsum-treated soil has a lower bulk density compared with untreated soil. Organics can decrease it even more when both are used. The softer soil is easier to till and crops respond better.
  21. Multiplies the Value of Other Inputs Gypsum can improve the response to all other inputs, including fertilisers. It more than adds to their beneficial effects – it multiplies them. 22. Keeps Clay off Roots Gypsum can help keep clay particles from adhering to the roots of crops like potatoes, carrots, parsnips and sugarbeet. This is cost-saving especially at harvest time.
  22. Decreases Loss of Nitrogen to the Air Calcium from gypsum can help decrease volatilisation loss of ammonium nitrogen from applications of ammonia, ammonium nitrate, UAN, urea, ammonium sulphate, or any of the ammonium phosphates. Calcium can decrease the effective pH by precipitating carbonates and also prevent ammonia loss to the atmosphere by forming a complex calcium salt with ammonium hydroxide.
  23. Increases Crop Yields Gypsum-for various combinations of the above effects-can substantially increase crop yields. From 10 to 40 percent is very common.