Sources of Gypsum for Agriculture

Written by adam watkins
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Sources of Gypsum for Agriculture
Farmers use gypsum as a fertiliser and pH stabiliser. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

The mineral gypsum is a soft, inert mineral that is naturally found underground in crystal form. This mineral has long been used as a fertiliser and pH stabiliser for crops. Due to its relative abundance, gypsum provides an economical fertilisation option for farmers. Unlike most organic fertilisers, gypsum is a naturally occurring mineral that will not cause water contamination or algae blooms.

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World's Largest Gypsum Mine

Gypsum is a very common inert mineral that can be found throughout the Earth's crust, and you can find gypsum mines on almost ever continent. The largest of these mines is the National Gypsum quarry in Nova Scotia, Canada, which is the producer of most of North America's gypsum supply.

Agricultural Gypsum Production in the U.S.

Canada is not the only country loaded with gypsum. This mineral can also be found throughout the entirety of the United States. With gypsum mines located in Arizona, California, New York, Oklahoma, Indiana and Texas, there is little worry that the world's gypsum supply will be running out anytime soon.

Gypsum Production Worldwide

Even though North America is rich with gypsum production, the rest of the world is not without its share of gypsum locations. Gypsum is plentiful throughout South America, particularly Brazil, as well as Germany, England, and Spain. Commercial gypsum mines can also be found in the Far East in Thailand, as well as in Australia.

Sources of Gypsum for Agriculture
Gypsum can be found on nearly every continent on Earth. (Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Gypsum Synthesis

Though gypsum is most economically found in mines and quarries, it can also be synthesised and obtained as a byproduct of water desalinisation. During the desalinisation process, membranes that filter salt and particulates from seawater collect gypsum crystals. This is generally an unwanted byproduct, as the gypsum accumulation slows down the desalinisation process.

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