Authored by Ron Chamberlain
GYPSOIL/BRM Chief Agronomist
Many growers are applying gypsum in the fall to improve soil structure and supply sulfur and calcium for the next crop. As rain droplets contact gypsum-treated soil, the gypsum molecules dissolve and begin to move slowly into the soil profile.* Recently, there have been questions about whether the sulfur in fall-applied gypsum is available to spring crops.
In my twelve years of observing crop response to gypsum applications, the answer has been obvious -- YES. Our customers typically apply gypsum in the fall after harvest. Improved crop vigor and increased yields for corn, soybeans, alfalfa and wheat are common during the next growing season. I am convinced that a big reason for this early resoponse is the availablility of sulfate sulfur from gypsum applications to sulfur-deficient environments.
My personal observations are backed by university research studies. Research conducted at The Ohio State University's School of Environment & Natural Resources has shown that sulfur from gypsum applied at typical rates remains present in the upper soil profile for several years after application. The study documented sulfate-sulfur levels of 75-420 PPM in the upper profile of a Blount soil six months after completing a second annual application of 0, 1,500, or 3,000 #/ac gypsum1. Please click here for full article.
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