Calcium sulfate has the ability to act as a ph buffer which helps to negate the acidity in the soil and its alkalinity. The ph in soil can adversely affect a plant’s growth and health because of its impact on the availability of required nutrients. Various aspects of the soil may enhance or detract from the ability of nutrients to successfully navigate through the soil on the way to the roots.
Because alkaline soils contain large quantities of sodium, they tend to have much smaller aggregation and pore spaces. When you introduce calcium sulfate into this type of soil, the end result is an increase in both aggregation size and pore space size. In situations where they are high levels of sodium in the irrigation water, calcium sulfate is the answer to recover the soil to a proper state for good plant growth.
In the case of acidic soils, usually the application of ground limestone is called for to reduce the acidity. It has been known to be very effective in raising the ph and is a good source of calcium. Calcium sulphate is recommended to be used as a blend with the lime because of its positive effect on acidic soils and its ability to do well at lower levels where they will help the transportation of nutrients and increase absorption.
Calcium sulphate’s ability to change soil properties is the key to getting the vital nutrients to the roots where they are absorbed. With the proper nutrients, plants thrive resulting in bigger and better yields.
Author: Dr. Daniel Davidson
Dr. Daniel Davidson – EcoGEM Agronomist. Dr. Daniel Davidson is a nationally recognized agronomist. He served most recently as Director of Strategic Research for the Illinois Soybean Association. Dr. Davidson has also served in various capacities at GEOSYS, Cargill, Agri Business Group and Agri Growth, Inc. He holds a Ph.D. in Agronomy from Washington State University and an MS in Agronomy from the University of Missouri.