Soil Stabilisation

Water and land management remains one of New Zealand’s greatest environmental challenges. In particular, there is potential to look more closely at the relationship between sedimentation of waterways and soil losses from land use. The loss of elite soils is also of particular interest.

Gypsum Influences on Soil Surface Sealing, Crusting, Infiltration and Runoff

Replacement of Na

        • Ca from gypsum can be used to reclaim soils that are high in exchangeable Na
        • Even small amounts of sodium can have dispersive effects of severe surface sealing when wet and hard crusts formation when dry
        • Subsoils with high Na contents have massive to columnar structure and severely limit downward water movement and rooting

gypsym structural differences
Soil Structural Differences (Control left Gypsum on right)

Gypsum and Liming 

        • Gypsum per se is not a liming material since it has little or no acid neutralizing capacity which defines Agricultural Lime 
        • It can remove the source of acidity and toxicity in acid soils 
        • Sulfate will complex the Al into a nontoxic species 
        • Greater depth of rooting in these soils and an increase in pH of the subsoil 
        • Increased depth of rooting increases nitrogen use efficiency because roots can take up the NO3

gypsum application to corn fields
Gypsum Application on Left w/o on Right
Gypsum control with corn
Random Corn Ears Amended with Gypsum on Left

Soil with severe cracking gypsum
Vertisol with Severe Cracking (Control)


soil amended with gypsum
Vertisol Amended with Gypsum


soil without gypsum
Conventional No-tillage on Vertisol in Villadiego, MX


Soil with gypsum
Modified No-till System to with Gypsum application, Villadiego, MX


Information on testing for salinity click here:

*Reference:  L. Darrell Norton and Fred Rhoton, 2007, FGD Gypsum Influences on Soil Surface Sealing, Crusting, Infiltration and Runoff, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, West Lafayette, IN and Oxford, MS.