Soil Remediation: The Role of Gypsum

The Problem: Our growing world population and the reduction in agricultural land/quality farmable soil are not a sustainable combination. Our food producer–the farmer—daily faces increasingly high costs for water, fertilizer, and implements to grow crops while simultaneously facing declining yields and damaged soil. Soil remediation has become an urgent issue.

Agricultural land loss and water stress are alarming problems in our world. As population increases, arable soil or agricultural land is decreasing by 30 million acres each year. Malnutrition and hunger are already a factor for one third of the world’s population. Soil remediation is no longer just a good suggestion, but a vital component in food production.

A Solution: We at EcoGEM®, LLC (EcoGEM) are committed to soil remediation and long-term solutions, not band aid applications. We help our food producers find solutions to the dilemmas of poor soil quality and declining yields. Our soil amendments are safe, all-natural, and can be used in organic or conventional farming. Our organic gypsum product, OMRI-listed* selenite (also known as Calcium Sulfate Dihydrate), is vital for assisting in the following three areas of soil improvement: repairing damaged soils, improving soil structure, and increasing crop yields.

At EcoGEM, our mission is to return global arable land back to production. We are passionate about providing growers and farmers worldwide with the tools and expertise to improve yields through improved soil health. Below, we review, in brief, how gypsum is a part of your soil remediation and food-growing solution.

Repairing Damaged Soil

Selenite has been proven to greatly help decrease and prevent crusting on soil surfaces. Sodic soils are characterized by poor drainage, poor soil structure, and crusting due to a high level of sodium ions on clay particles that cause the soil particles to disperse. EcoGEM Calcium Sulfate Dihydrate can be used as a soil amendment that improves soil structure by replacing the sodium with calcium. The calcium allows the soil to be leachable which will improve soil structure and promote better crop growth.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, healthy soil has amazing water-retention capacity. Every 1% increase in organic matter results in as much as 25,000 gallons of available soil water per acre. (Source: Kansas State Extension Agronomy e-Updates Number 357, July 6, 2012.

Improving Soil Structure

Improved aggregation helps vital nutrients reach the roots where they are absorbed. EcoGEM Calcium Sulfate Dihydrate can improve soil health by helping aggregate soil particles into peds or small clumps. These peds loosely aggregate together creating pore spaces that allow water to infiltrate. After treatment with EcoGEM products, your soil will hold more water.

Gypsum works to improve drainage in soils dominated with dispersive clays in four ways. One is immediate, one nearly immediate, the third occurs with a flush of root growth and soil biological activity, and the last is a change in structure. Long-term solutions to soil remediation is EcoGEM’s goal.

Increasing Crop Yields

The numerous uses of calcium sulfate have resulted in greater crop yields across the globe. Better soil equals better yields. Use of EcoGEM organic gypsum can increase your land’s tilth. Each dollar spent by growers on natural Calcium Sulfate Dihydrate can yield up to 863% in Return on Investment (ROI). Typical yield increases range from approximately 80% for corn plants to around 53% for soybeans. Optimal soil structure dramatically increases plant growth.

Reduces Phosphorous and Nitrogen Runoff

Adequate application of Calcium Sulfate Dihydrate to agricultural lands can reduce concentrations of phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) in runoff. Runoff containing N and P greatly contributes to eutrophication of surface waterways, causing algal blooms and killing aquatic life. When Calcium Sulfate Dihydrate is applied at the correct time and in the correct quantity, this sets up an interactive exchange with P and N fertilizers and each nutrient will be more effectively absorbed by the plant.

Finding Solutions Together

EcoGEM is based in Denver and is equipped to ship your gypsum domestically or worldwide. With more than 20 million tons of the highest quality Calcium Sulfate Dihydrate (CaSO4+2H2O) available in nature, EcoGEM commits to deliver products of a consistent quality and quantity 100% of the time.

Call us at (303) 500-6944 or email us at [email protected] to begin the process of restoring your agricultural lands and increasing your yields. Our agronomists are at your service to select the best product for your specific needs. EcoGEM can customize orders on particle size or pelletize for ease of spreadability or for application through irrigation (solution grade). View our product page for a complete list or visit our quote page for an estimate to fill your needs.

*Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) is a non-profit organization created to ensure and benefit the organic community and the general public.