Why Use Solution Grade Gypsum?
|Calcium Sulfate Dihydrate (Gypsum) provides three primary benefits when injected into irrigation water:
1) Calcium Sulfate neutralizes bicarbonates and converts sodium bicarbonate into sodium sulfate, which can then be readily leached from the root zone
through normal irrigation practices.
2) Calcium Sulfate flocculates clay soil, eliminating surface crusting and improving water penetration.
3) Calcium Sulfate provides calcium in a form that is readily available for uptake by the plant roots, providing a critical micronutrient for
healthy and resilient turf.
The benefits of amending effluent irrigation water are generally well known. However, because soluble gypsum is logistically difficult to handle at the course
level, water and soil amendment is most often accomplished with the use of sulfuric acid, sulfur burners and/or more expensive forms of calcium such as pellatized
gypsum or liquid calcium products.
SULFURIC ACID is commonly used to reduce carbonates and bicarbonates by converting them to a gas and literally "fizzing" it away. The remaining sulfur
then converts the sodium to sodium sulfate, similar to gypsum. Sulfuric Acid, however, is expensive and is extremely dangerous to handle! It may also deteriorate
any metal or cement that it comes in contact with in the irrigation water distribution system. The risk of property damage and personal injury are high
SULFUR BURNERS are an alternative to sulfuric acid. Sulfur burners heat soil sulfur to create sulfureous acid which "fizzes off" bicarbonates
similar to sulfuric acid. Sulfur burners are safer to operate, but can still harm metal and cement piping. They are also unsightly out on the golf
course, require manual storage and reloading of bagged sulfur and they put off a burnt sulfur smell when operating.
LIQUID CALCIUM is another alternative. The two most common forms are Calcium Polysulfide and Calcium Chloride. Liquid calcium is very expensive when
comparing the cost per-unit of calcium to solution grade gypsum. With "liquid calcium," one must pay for a prepared liquid solution which is comprised mostly
of water! Solution grade finely ground gypsum is like using a concentrate and adding your own water. Calcium Polysulfide also emits a strong sulfur (burnt-egg) odor
and can add a yellow tint to the irrigation water. Calcium Chloride adds additional chloride to the effluent water, which is typically already high in chloride
and does not create all the benefits that Calcium Sulfate does.
ALL of the above alternatives are also considered hazardous and/or a non-organic and regulated chemical. Mined Solution Grade Gypsum is the ONLY source of
Calcium Sulfate that is safe to handle, contains no undesireable chemical carriers and is a 100%-natural and all-organic water amendment. Gypsum adds no
color or odor and will NOT deteriorate metal, cement or plastic irrigation water delivery systems.