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Home BUSINESSGypsum being used to enrich soil
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Sun, 10 May, 2015 12:04:57 AM
FTimes – STT Report, May 10

Gypsum can be used to improve soil quality. Small quantities of the substance are delivered from the Siilinjärvi mountains to potato farmers.

“Gypsum raises the calcium content of the potato field without raising the pH. Calcium sulphate (gypsum) dissolves in the ground and improves the structure of the soil,” said agronomist Seija Luomanperä, Yara’s head of communications, about the benefits.

Phosphorus binds to soil particles, which gypsum makes clump together and better retain water.

“Studies in 2008-2013 in Nurmijärvi showed that gypsum reduced soil erosion up to 60 per cent. The soil held 30 per cent soluble phosphor. The effect lasts for 4 to 5 years,” Luomaperä said.

The wholesale price of gypsum is now about 20 euros per tonne. Soil treatment with gypsum requires about four tonnes per hectare. When the costs of freight and distribution are included, the total cost per hectare is about 200 euros.

According to Luomaperä, the distribution of gypsum would be planned out according to demand.

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