Saturday, October 4, 2014

Gypsum Decreases Phosphorous Runoff

The amount of nutrient runoff, especially dissolved reactive phosphorus, is making its way into Ohio’s lakes and streams, leading to the growth of harmful algal blooms and causing serious consequences.

This has resulted in a multi-state effort to apply nutrients more responsibly. It also resulted in new legislation, including a rule that will require Ohio farmers to be state certified in three years, if they intend to apply fertilizer on more than 50 acres.

However, there is one nutrient — or mineral — that farmers are now applying that actually reduces the runoff of the others. And researchers say the soil needs more of it.

This article is a good read and what I have been sharing since my first presentation at the National NoTillage Conference in 2000.

Gypsum decreases runoff and increases water infiltration into soil.  That is what I have seen in the gypsum applications to farms I've studied.  A few have used gypsum 20 years in a row, they must be believers.

Why?  One ton of gypsum per acre changes soil chemistry enough to see a difference.  2000 lbs of one soil amendment can affect 6-8 million pounds in a soil plow layer that much.

Yet it is only one tiny part of soil chemistry which affects soil physics and biology.  Many farmers from young to old are asking how can this be?  Some are interested to the point they are making gypsum a part of their soil nutrient/amendment budget for 2015 they are applying it now or before next years crop.

Can gypsum affect your soil in a positive way that it is worth blank dollars to spread it before next years crop?

How will you know if you don't try it?

Ed Winkle


  1. Have you asked yourself why Ed? Maybe the natural chemistry is allowing it to bind to the calcium therefore making it not plant available. Not very efficient in my opinion.

  2. How will you know if you don't try it? Do you understand how to do your own test?

    Ed Winkle