Gypsum is used in a wide range of applications, including drywall, soil conditioning, plaster of Paris and Portland cement. The primary ingredient in drywall is gypsum. Without gypsum in Portland cement, there is no time to pour and form the cement since it hardens immediately.
Gypsum decreases soil density making it easier to till. It decreases the amount of nitrogen, an essential element for plants, lost to the air. Seed emergence is also improved by gypsum by decreasing crust formation. The calcium in gypsum helps plants absorb more nutrients. Acidic soils are corrected with the addition of gypsum. Gypsum is mined and is extremely abundant.