Gypsum Makes Soils Field Ready Sooner
We have had customers comment on where they have applied PRO CAL 40 their field conditions are better and these soils are “field ready” sooner than where they haven’t applied PRO CAL 40. This means timely operations and especially more timely planting. Since we have applied gypsum on all our fields we don’t normally have an opportunity to compare and see this difference.
However, this year we rented an adjoining field to one we own. This field had not had gypsum applied on it. We tilled the field with vertical tillage equipment to prepare it to plant. The soil on our field was in good condition. The soil in the adjoining field was somewhat sticky and was cloddy once it dried, not making for an ideal seedbed. As a result, as you can see in the picture below (foreground), the corn did not emerge evenly and we have a poor stand where gypsum had not been applied. Where gypsum was applied (background), the stand is uniform and we have the stand expected. For this soil, that had no history of gypsum, to be in good condition we should have waited at least 2-3 days longer, but we did not have time on our side and needed to get it planted since it was already May 26th.
Picture of corn comparing the stand of corn where gypsum was applied vs. not applied. Picture was taken June 12, 2017.
The value of timely operations is difficult to monetize, but if planting is delayed by 2 to 3 weeks because the ground is not ready, it could easily mean 20 bushels in corn yield each year. Poorer stands like we see here will also mean less yield. The cost of a gypsum application amortized over four years has an approximate cost of $10 per acre per year. That can be a minimal cost compared to the loss represented by this stand loss.
Remember, gypsum softens the soil, making it less sticky, and allows for better water infiltration and drainage through the soil.