What are the best methods to treat high salinity of clay soil?


Dear All,

Here in Pakistan we are struggling these days with the salinity of soil problem. The soil types varies from clay to loamy clay and the primary crops grown are rice and sessional vegetable. The irrigation methods adopted are traditional and we know that the over irrigation has rested in this problem. You can see in the picture the severity of the problem.

We are planning to undertake some action research for developing appropriate and location specific soil reclamation technologies to solve this soil salinity problem. Please suggest what are the best methods to treat the saline soil without loosing any crop season. 



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bob ted
Improvement of a saline soil implies the reduction of the salt concentration of the soil to a level that is not harmful to the crops.
Junejo Bashir
Thanks for all friends who shared their valuable information ... ... regards -Bashir
Gerard Frendo
I suggest you contact www.ecofilae.fr which are specialists in soil and water salinity management.
Junejo Bashir
Thanks Gerard Frendo --- regards
Govind Bharad
Is it saline, saline-alkaline or alkaline? On soil testing for physio chemical parameters; one can have a proven way to improve the soil, within few seasons.
Anuradha Kataria
You may avoid use of any chemicals whatsoever for at least 2 years - use manure like cow dung instead. Proper crop rotation during this period will help solve the problem.
Veronika Vasilev
Organic farming will help definitely but I guess they want a instead remedy. I suggest try force furrow irrigation..
Najam Khurshid
Dear Mr. Junejo, Magnetic Technology is the best and environmental friendly solution of this problem and it is now available in Pakistan. you can visit site:magnetic.com.pk
or can contact me on my mob. Phone: +92-300-2299077


Dr. Najam Khurshid
Junejo Bashir
Dear Dr. Najam Khurshid ,,, Thanks for your reply & information --regards...
Dr Pramod C  Nawani
I think mixing gypsum ( calcium sulphate) with soil can be helpful.
Junejo Bashir
Dear Pramod C Nawani ,,, Thanks for your reply and advice ,, many reasons gypsum can be considered to be a farmer's best friend.Gypsum improves water infiltration rates into soils and also the hydraulic conductivity of the soil besides of number of advantages.. what would be the proportion of gypsum to be mixed with clayey soil(salinity in clayey) to help in reducing salinity & improve productivity of crops ? but where we have high water-table & there is no chance of infiltration or leaching what method you suggest to be adopted in flat areas to over come salinity problem ----
Milind Kulkarni
Marine water intrusion, excess use of water, water logging, excess use of chemical fertilizers are some of the causes of salinity. Hence the solutions lie in removing these causes. Better drainage, careful use of water, use of limited organic fertilizers etc may be the solutions.
michelle arroyo
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Mustafa Nasr
One farmer near me here say If you plant alfalfa for 3 consecutive seasons with naturally absorbs (Non cemecal) will absorb all salts
Anuradha Kataria
Yes alfallfa is a good option; if possible rotate it with Wheatgrass.
Cliff Love
Junejo, I could possibly help but would need to know more information. Is this a large area? Could you provide an analysis of the soil properties? Thank you.
Junejo Bashir
Thanks Cliff Love ,,,,for your reply ,, i have mentioned few details according to report of 2000 .. hope you will guide more on that issue --
Junejo Bashir
6.30 million hectares of land are salt-affected and of which 1.89 hectare is saline, 1.85 million hectare is permeable saline-sodic, 1.02 million hectare is impermeable saline-sodic and 0.028 million hectare is sodic in nature..( reported in 2000).
Michael Chaplinsky
We formulated a special product for Sodium issues in water or soils, it is Sodium Blocker. It is a clear liquid that can be injected into irrigation by fertigation or spray applied. It will release the sodium bound by cation bond in the soil or clay and flush it down way from the plant or crop.

It is used across the western US and we successfully used it to restore rice fields the next year after the tsunami covered then with sea water in 2005.
If you email me I will send you case studies. mc@turffeeding.com
Junejo Bashir
Hi Michael Chaplinsky --- Thanks for your information , Pl send me a case study .. junejo.b.ahmed@gmail.com

Mustafa Nasr
Conducting reclamation operations necessary before planting by immersing the ground water quality alone several times to reduce the salinity of the soil to the appropriate border. Whatever was salty soil can be planted where tomatoes, cucumbers and pepper without problems
Junejo Bashir
Hello Dear Mustafa Nasr ,,, your advices are valuable... but where we have high watertable ,reclamation with the help of immersing water will have adverse effects ---
Frank W. Croon
Dear Mr. Bashir
In pakistan extensive reserach has been undertaken to control salinity and to reclaim salt affected soils. Many Projects have been carried out. So I assume that there is a wealth of knowledge and experience available in Pakistan to solve these problems.(WAPDA for instance) The essence is as other commenters have mentioned: Leaching of the soil with water and installing and a drainage system to evacuate the salinsed drainage effluent out of the area. The left bank outfall drain has been specifically constructed to evacuate the drainage effluent towards the sea. Chemicals (gypsum) can be a help (but no solution) to combat the possible alkalinity of the soil. There is unfortunately no easy and cheap solution to control salinityt in an large area. If you do it lfield wise you will send the salinity toward the neighbours, not a vary cheelfull solution either.
Santhanam Ramasubramanyam
Yes, Punjab neighboring Pakistan also has extensive salinity problems primarily due to the excellent drainage system which the British established. However 3 crops system of intensive farming by which Punjab supplies almost 70% of India's rice & wheat cereals, is the cause. Organic agriculture may have averted the problem for both Pakistan and Punjab state in India. FAO has well documented studies as posted in this thread, but solutions are not really practical for very large tracts except to change farming methods.

Swami Valmiki Sreenivasa Ayyangarya has developed methods of treatment using wastes of organic nature such as bio solid wastes and also elements of toxic materials found in industrial effluents, sewage etc.So far there has been only one acknowledgement by Governmental sources ie Department of Agriculture, Government of Karnataka has published a document on Kannada language for use by farmers in the state.

There has been salinity problems experienced even in Rajasthan, due the Indira Gandhi Canal which apparently has poor surfacing at the bottom with the result water tends to seep out and it has also created water logged soils in large tracts, since the area has large gypsum deposits below the ground. Some land owners are trying pumping using new generation dc motor (US technology), powered by solar pv cells, so as to start agriculture.IIT Delhi Textile Engineering Department has done some work on Geo textiles which can be used as lining for canals bringing irrigation water.
Junejo Bashir
Dear Mr Frank W.Croon ,

Thanks for your reply & happy to know you have a knowledge about our country , i do agree with your statement about projects that you have mentioned .. salinity in clayey soil with high water table , leaching of salt is challenging job and it needs lot of efforts to tackle the saline problem ,,,as far as Left Bank Outfall Drain ,, there are also issues around that drain as well ... thanks for time and reply --
Tai Ping
Best way is to adopt the better irrigation practices and plant drought tolerance crop.
Junejo Bashir
Thanks Tai Ping for your information----
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