In soils with high levels of calcium carbonate and low levels of gypsum, what soil amendment may be used to provide better soil tilth? I live in New Mexico.

August 07, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF
Application of elemental sulfur may help by producing additional gypsum in the soil. Sulfur is oxidized in soils by sulfur bacteria and the resulting sulfuric acid reacts with calcium carbonate to produce gypsum. Addition of sulfuric acid directly into the irrigation water has also been proven to improve soil permeability and reduce the hazards associated with soil sodicity. Care must be taken when utilizing sulfuric acid to ensure that the pH of irrigation water remains above 5.5. Lower pH irrigation water will begin to break down and erode concrete ditches.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.