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While the nuisance and problems of being inundated with volcanic ash are major and distressing, one great benefit will be in its value as free fertiliser.
The macronutrients, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulphur and phosphorus, and the acidity of the leachate are all beneficial to our coral limestone-based soil. It should be noted that the 1980 sugar crop, following the 1979 eruption of La Soufriere in St. Vincent jumped dramatically from the five year average of 107,000 tons to 132,000 tons. So we should all harvest the ash for our gardens and potted plants, while our fields will enjoy the bonus fertiliser.
Professor Emeritus Sir Henry Fraser