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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Bioremediation and Biodegradation

Irrigation of Broccoli and Canola with Boron- and Selenium-Laden Effluent


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 31 No. 6, p. 1802-1808
    Received: Dec 27, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): gbanuelos@fresno.ars.usda.gov
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  1. G. S. Bañuelos *
  1. USDA-ARS Water Management Research Lab., 9611 S. Riverbend Ave., Parlier, CA 93648


Selenium (Se), boron (B), and salinity contamination of agricultural drainage water is potentially hazardous for water reuse strategies in central California. To demonstrate the feasibility of using plants to extract Se from drainage water, Se accumulation was determined in canola (Brassica napus L.) and broccoli (Brassica oleracea L.) irrigated with drainage effluent in the San Joaquin Valley, California. In the 2-yr field study, both crops were irrigated with a typical drainage water containing Se (150 μg L−1), B (5 mg L−1), and a sulfate dominated salinity (EC of 7 dS m−1). Total dry matter yields were at least 11 Mg ha−1 for both canola and broccoli, and plant tissue Se concentrations did not exceed 7 mg kg−1 DM for either crop. Based on the amount of soluble Se applied to crops with drainage water and the estimated amount of soluble Se remaining in soil to a depth of 90 cm at harvest, both canola and broccoli accumulated at least 40% of the estimated soluble Se lost from the soil for both years. Applied Se not accounted for in plant tissue or as soluble Se in the soil was presumably lost by biological volatilization. This study suggests that irrigating two high value crops such as canola and broccoli with Se-laden effluent helps manage Se-laden effluent requiring treatment, and also produces economically viable Se-enriched crops. Future research should focus on managing residual salt and B in the soil for sustaining long time water reuse strategies.

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Copyright © 2002. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.31:1802–1808.