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Automated In-Situ Soil Salinity Logging in Irrigated Agriculture

Saline soils are significant as formations of ecosystem on the earth affected by high concentrations of soluble salts, and as means of crop production with little economic value due to salinity. Many plants either fail to grow in saline soils or their growth is retarded significantly. However, few plants grow well on saline soils; therefore, soil salinity often restricts options for cropping in a given area. Understanding soil salinity helps understand subtle difference across the agricultural fields, and allows more precise management of irrigated fields. Salinity measurement is one the simplest, least expensive tool. This can be accomplished by using routine (EC meter, salinity bridge through salinity sensors) and modern equipment (EC Probe, EM38 and automated salinity measurement though salinity sensors). The choice of the technique depends upon the purpose, size of the area, soil depth, and frequency of measurement, accuracy required and the available resources. The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) Dubai United Arab Emirates has recently installed an automated salinity logging system in a grass field irrigated with three water salinity levels. In these fields salinity sensors have been buried at 30 and 60 cm depths in different treatments. Initial observations revealed that the dynamic changes of soil salinity within an irrigation cycle are showing the effect of water salinity on the salt concentration in the root zone and water suction and how this is constantly changing under irrigation. In this paper the system is fully described and the initial results about soil salinity, temperature and water suction are discussed.

Authors: 
Shabbir A. Shahid, Abdullah H. Dakheel, Khurshid A. Mufti, Ghulam Shabbir
Year: 
2009
Publication type: 
Scientific Paper
Publication Source: 
European Journal of Scientific Research
Volume/Chapter/Issue: 
26
Page Number: 
288-297
ISBN: 
ISSN 1450-216X

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