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How Do Ammonium Sulfate and Gypsum Differ?
 

How Do Ammonium Sulfate and Gypsum Differ?

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You’ve heard the saying, “the right tool for the right job.” In agricultural production, the saying should be changed to “the right chemical for the right job.” Ammonium sulfate and calcium ...

You’ve heard the saying, “the right tool for the right job.” In agricultural production, the saying should be changed to “the right chemical for the right job.” Ammonium sulfate and calcium sulfate, commonly known as gypsum, are both products that are important to agriculture. They share one trait in common – the chemical sulfur is part of their makeup – but that is where the similarities end.

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    How Do Ammonium Sulfate and Gypsum Differ? How Do Ammonium Sulfate and Gypsum Differ? Document Transcript

    • How Do Ammonium Sulfate and Gypsum Differ? ind-svcs.com/blog/ammonium-sulf ate-gypsum-dif f er/ Ammonium Sulfate and Gypsum You’ve heard the saying, “the right tool f or the right job.” In agricultural production, the saying should be changed to “the right chemical f or the right job.” Ammonium sulf ate and calcium sulf ate, commonly known as gypsum, are both products that are important to agriculture. They share one trait in common – the chemical sulf ur is part of their makeup – but that is where the similarities end. Ammonium Sulfate, (NH4)2SO4 Ammonium sulf ate is a non-hazardous, nitrogen-rich f ertilizer that also helps lower soil pH. The nitrogen in ammonium sulf ate tends to be stable, so it is available throughout the growing season. This reduces the need f or repeated applications. Applying ammonium sulf ate to alkaline soil not only adds needed nitrogen, its acidif ying capability helps make soil micronutrients such as calcium, boron and magnesium more readily available to growing plants. Ammonium sulf ate f ertilizer can be used on acidic soils as well, but will require alternate lime applications to prevent the soil pH f rom decreasing. Ammonium sulf ate is highly soluble, so its impact on soil f ertility and pH is immediate. Its solubility also makes it an ideal addition to glyphosphate-based herbicide applications by substantially increasing herbicide ef f ectiveness; using a slightly acidic spray allows the liquid to better penetrate plant tissues which makes the herbicide more ef f ective. Hard water is also known to bind with the glyphosphate molecules and render them inef f ective; ammonium sulf ate added to the water counteracts hardness. It has been f ound that ammonium sulf ate f ertilizer is one of the best nitrogen sources f or soil crops such as soybeans and increases the production of sulf ur-bearing amino acids in legumes and alf alf a. Ammonium sulf ate is a non-hazardous byproduct derived f rom the production of Caprolactam. Gypsum, CaSO4·2H2O By contrast, gypsum is a soil amendment rather than a f ertilizer. It contains no nitrogen or other macronutrients, so f or the purposes of f ertilization, gypsum needs to be used in conjunction with a nitrogen source such as urea. Gypsum does help to stabilize the nitrogen in urea f ertilizer and reduces volatilization. Gypsum is used primarily to loosen clay soils and to reduce the sodium content of sodic soils as well as to add calcium. Gypsum is mined f rom rock sources, pulverized and ref ined; it takes a long period of time to degrade completely into the soil. This is a positive when it is used to reduce soil compaction and increase the f riability of clay, but tends to be a negative when the need f or increased soil calcium is urgent. Even though gypsum is a sulf ate compound, it does little to change soil pH; one soil testing lab has stated that it is the impurities in lower grades of gypsum that act to change pH. A high grade gypsum is pH neutral. Virginia soils range in pH f rom acidic in the
    • eastern regions to alkaline in the mountainous areas. Find out your soil’s pH and f ertility level through soil testing, and then purchase and apply the right products in the right amounts to make any needed adjustments. Commonwealth CIS is a distributor of high quality ammonium sulf ate and can provide your f arm with ammonium sulf ate by the 50 pound bags, 3000 pound bags or supersacks. Commonwealth CIS also provides ammonium sulf ate to manuf acturing f irms and to the tanning industry. Image Credit: Soil Component Name in Virginia, By J. Albert Bowden II Post Emergence Stomp, by Chaf er Machinery Gypsum, by Kevin Walsh Contact Us Need Help Purchasing, Storing, Or Shipping Ammonium Sulfate? Contact Commonwealth Industrial Services Today! Contact Us Industrial Services Commonwealth Industrial Services, Inc. (CIS) is an industrial services company located in Hopewell, Virginia. Although historically a service business, CIS’ primary prof it center is the packaging and resale of ammonium sulf ate. Follow Us Latest posts by Industrial Services (see all) How Do Ammonium Sulf ate and Gypsum Dif f er? - April 7, 2014 10 Great Reasons to Use Sulf -N Ammonium Sulf ate - April 7, 2014