Minimal Leaching with Varying Root Depths of Alfalfa1
- Leon Bernstein,
- L. E. Francois and
- R. A. Clark2
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. cv. ‘Sonora’) was grown in greenhouse lysimeters with soil depths of 60, 120, and 180 cm to determine whether rooting depth affected tolerance to the low leaching percentage of 6.25. Salinities of the drainage waters averaged about 6 mmho/cm for the controls irrigated with 0.4 mmho/cm water, and 26 mmho/cm for lysimeters irrigated with 2.0 mmho/cm water. Steady-state salinity profiles were maintained for 3 years. Yields with the more saline water averaged 23% less than those of the controls, in good agreement with previous findings, but were not significantly affected by lysimeter depth. Water requirements and uptake of chloride and sodium were only slightly affected by lysimeter depth. Salinity profiles with maximum salinities of 26 mmho/cm in the soil water can, therefore, be compressed into as little as a 60-cm depth with no greater effects on yield or salt uptake by the crop than those obtained with salinity profiles extended over 120 or 180 cm.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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