Warren Dick has worked with gypsum for more than two decades, according to an article at the American Society of Agronomy. You’d think he’d be an expert on drywall and plastering because both are made from gypsum. But the use of gypsum that Dick studies might be unfamiliar to you: on farmland.
“Gypsum is a good source of both calcium and sulfur, which crops need for good yields,” says Dick. “We also found that it improves many other soil characteristics. Gypsum helps soil better absorb water and reduces erosion. It also cuts down on phosphorus movement from soils to lakes and streams and improves the quality of various fruits and vegetables, among other benefits.”
Gypsum is a mineral that is naturally found concentrated in various places and can be mined out of the ground. But Dick’s research focuses on gypsum recovered from coal-fired electricity generating power plants.