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What is kaolin and why is it important? Kaolin is a white clay that has many unique properties and is used in a variety of industries, both nationally and internationally. Agriculture is one such industry that takes advantage of kaolin clay.
Similar to sunscreen we use on our skin to decrease the chance of sunburn, kaolin is a natural sun protectant that is used on a variety of crops to accomplish the same goal. Sun damage can lower crop yield, reduce the value of crops, or even make crops unmarketable.
In the western United States, where sunshine and heat stress can be overwhelming during these summer months, using kaolin as a sun-protectant is a critical part of crop management. Farmers use kaolin on crops including walnuts, applies, grapes, melons, and other fruits and vegetables. These crops are worth billions of dollars in revenue each year, so it is vital that they are protected from heat stress and sun damage.
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