Gypsum Industries of Australia
Gypsum Industries mines gypsum from Lake Cowcowing near Wyalkatchem. This very high quality gypsum is used by farmers throughout the central wheatbelt, both as a source of sulphur for plant growth, and to improve soil structure in heavy clays. The company’s Lake Cowcowing gypsum is also used in the manufacture of cement and a number of other industrial processes.
Which soils need gypsum?
Soils which respond to gypsum usually have the following characteristics:
Difficult to Cultivate
Slippery and boggy when wet
Forms large clods and poor seedbed
Extremely hard and difficult to penetrate when dry
Can only be cultivated during a short period
Slow water infiltration
Water lies around on the surface
Little water penetrates the ground
Ponding and runoff
Water will tend to pond or run off
This water will be cloudy
Surface crusting causes patchy germination
The soil is compacted with few air spaces resulting in poor root grow
Early burning off
The crop runs out of moisture quickly
What does Gypsum do?
Gypsum has the following beneficial effects:
Makes cultivation easier
The soil becomes more friable resulting in less wear on machinery and lower fuel consumption.
Stops surface crusting
Germinating seedlings can penetrate the surface readily.
Improves water infiltration
Soil moisture increases and is available over a long period of time thereby increasing yields.
Improved uptake of nutrients
Due to the increased root growth, more of the soil area is explored for nutrients.
Increases optimum period for cultivation
The time of cultivation is more flexible thereby improving farm efficiency.
Resulting in increased plant density and higher yields
Improved soil aeration
Aggregates are formed in the soil increasing soil aeration and permitting extensive root growth
Yields increase with the improved germination, soil moisture content, root growth and uptake of nutrients
How much gypsum should you apply?
In severe cases of soil structure problems, application rates of 5t/ha are recommended. However, in other situations, application rates of 2.5t/ha would be sufficient.
How long will the gypsum effect last?
The length of time the gypsum effect lasts largely depends on the management of the soil after the gypsum application. The effect will last longer under minimum cultivation practices and shorter under excessive cultivations.
Gypsum can be purchased through Aglime's head office with Gypsum Industries of Australia. For Loading Appointments call D&D Transport on 08 9681 1117.
Current Gypsum Prices
Grizzly Screened: $19.40/t -$21.34 inc GST
Fine Screened: $24.70/t - $27.17 inc GST
500kg bulka bags $137.50 -$151.25 inc GST
20 kg plastic bags $8 - $8.80 inc GST