Crop growers know they must protect the soil in their fields. Erosion is a huge cost to productivity and it can contribute to reduced water quality, malfunction of drainage and hydrological systems. Keeping soil in place has huge environmental impacts because is the number one source of pollution in water, according to USDA Agricultural Research Service soil scientist Darrell Norton.
Dr. Norton has done extensive evaluations of gypsum’s impact on soil erosion, nutrient runoff, sediment loading, water infiltration and surface cracking. He found in a series of rainfall simulator experiments that soil loss is reduced by more than 50 percent when gypsum is applied at a rate of one ton per acre. Gypsum prevents soil particles from detaching during rainfall events and being lost in surface water runoff.