If you missed it Dan Davidson with DNT blogged about gypsum last week. Dan reports that a study from the USDA ARS that gypsum can indeed curb run off.Check out the research here.
While gypsum does not solve all problems and can’t work create miracles, many will find that it is useful in their fertility program.
Also a couple of weeks ago in the Iowa Farmer Today, there was an article by Catherine Kling, professor of Environmental Research Economics, the gist of the article was that there needs to be more government subsidizing of conservation practices to solve all the run off in Iowa. I wrote Ms. Kling suggesting that for lees than their budget we could treat every acre in Iowa with SuperCal SO4. There has been a wealth of research in addition to that by the ARS
The solute concentration from gypsum makes soil aggregates more stable.
Gypsum prevents crusting and aids water infiltration. (shainberg et al. 1989)
In a study by ARS gypsum has shown benefits in reducing P run-off.
L. Darrell Norton is at the USDA-ARS National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory, has also done research showing the benefits of gypsum in reducing N and P run-off.
In addition we are exploring a new product that can be handled and spread like dry fertilizer. One pound of active ingredient (AI) can effectively flocculate up to 10 tons of soil under ideal conditions. This can be done very cost effectively.
The Denver Water Board sponsored a study of sediment run-off, 10 pounds per acre of the AI showed a 95% reduction in sediment run-off.
Colorado State University sponsored a study with the AI, and showed a 80% reduction in sediment run-off.
In a study conducted by Wallace & Wallace dry-broadcasted AI reduced erosion by 75%-100%.
Using the combination of gypsum/AI can simultaneously improve crop yields 10-25% or more while reducing runoff, effectively making the cost of application free.
We could treat all the cropland acres in Iowa (27m) for approximately $20-$30/a, or $650 million, the cost being provided by the landowner, and recouped it in higher yields. As expected I have not recieved a response in almost a month.
Last week the Des Moines Register reported farm run off from Iowa is damaging the Gulf of Mexico. The question is now are you going to take action or wait for government mandates, taxes, and restrictions on fertilizer use.
You can work now to increase yields, increase organic matter and water infiltration and holding capacity, or continue to watch you soil erode, taking with it valuable nutrients and assuring more regulation.
The Blogronomist is maintained by Craig Dick, head blogronomist and VP of Sales and Marketing. Here you will find a wide array of blog articles from Craig and expert guests on topics related to soil and crop health, farming, and so much more. If it’s not here, ask us!