Published January 24, 2014 20:27
There are plenty of salinity stories we could tell from our own backyard (Veris Technologies is based out of Saline County, Kansas), instead we look to China’s Jilin Province where researchers at the Da’an Sodic Land Experiment Station are working to improve the alkali-saline conditions of the western Songnen Plain.
Salinity in soils can develop from natural factors like a high water table or manmade influences brought on by irrigation. Regardless of the cause, the effect is harmful on a plant’s ability to take up water, oxygen and nutrients and is a growing concern in major cropping regions around the world. Therefore, identifying areas of a field with saline soils is an important step in remediation and preventing further encroachment.
Wang Zhichun, Ph.D Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and his team of researchers used a Veris 3100 to delineate saline hotspots in this region of China where alkali-saline areas have been increasing in size by 20,000 square hm per year. The dissolved salts in soil’s pore water cause elevated soil EC readings. This makes Veris EC sensors an effective tool in defining saline areas. Not only were boundaries created for saline management zones, the team was able to determine the level of salinization within zones. This allows for different application rates of gypsum to be used to dissolve and replace the sodium ions causing damage to crops.