Irrigation Water Quality, Soil Amendment, and Crop Effects on Sodium Leaching

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  • This article was downloaded by: [Queensland University of Technology]On: 02 November 2014, At: 01:23Publisher: Taylor & FrancisInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number:1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street,London W1T 3JH, UK

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    Irrigation Water Quality, SoilAmendment, and Crop Effectson Sodium LeachingJ. W. Bauder & T. A. BrockPublished online: 30 Nov 2010.

    To cite this article: J. W. Bauder & T. A. Brock (2001) Irrigation Water Quality,Soil Amendment, and Crop Effects on Sodium Leaching, Arid Land Research andManagement, 15:2, 101-113, DOI: 10.1080/15324980151062724

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  • Arid Land Research and Management, 15:101 113, 2001Copyright 2001 Taylor & Francis1532-4982/01 $12.00 .00

    Irrigation Water Quality, Soil Amendment, andCrop E ects on Sodium Leaching

    J. W. BAUDERDepartment of Land Resources and Environmental SciencesMontana State UniversityBozeman, Montana, USA

    T. A. BROCKINEEL Research Center (IRC)Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

    Due to prolonged irrigation with water of marginal quality, salination of irrigatedsoils in some areas of southeastern Montana has led to a need for better under-standing of the soil and water management alternatives for irrigators. A study wasconducted with Haverson silty clay ( ne-loamy, mixed, calcareous, mesic UsticTorri uvent) to determine the e ect of combinations of chemical amendments,crop species, and irrigation water quality on Na and salt leaching from salt-a ected soils. Amendments included CaSO4, P-CaSO4 and MgCl2; also includedwas a nonamended control treatment. Crops included alfalfa (Medicago sativa L .),barley (Hordeum vulgare L .), sorghum-sudangrass [(Sorghum vulgare Sorghumdrumondii) (sordan)], and a noncropped control. All soil columns (0.15 m 0.5 m)were irrigated with either high Na adsorption ratio (SARadj 16:6), high totaldissolved solids (TDS 1647 mg L 1) water, or low SARadj (1.15), low TDS (747mg L 1) water. Drainage volume, electrical conductivity (EC), SAR, Na ofdrainage water, and Na leaching were monitored over three crop cycles.Irrigation with high SAR-high TDS water increased the soil solution EC to approxi-mately 5.5 dS m1, but did not decrease crop yields relative to irrigation waterhaving SARadj and TDS of 0.37 and 747 mg kg

    1, respectively. Magnesium dis-placed Na on the exchange complex, but the e ects were short-term compared toCaSO4 or P-CaSO4. Amendments increased yields of barley from 14% 27% andalfalfa by 25% but had no e ect on sordan. Columns cropped to barley had 28%greater Na leaching than columns planted to other crops. Noncropped columnsaccumulated the least net soluble salt and Na. Results of this study demonstratethat speci c crop and amendment combinations can signi cantly a ect the e ciencyof saline soil reclamation strategies and impact quality of irrigation return ow.

    Keywords salinity, gypsum, sodium adsorption ratio, electrical conductivity,soil reclamation

    Abbreviations SAR sodium adsorption ratio, TDS total dissolved solids,EC electrical conductivity, ESP exchangeable sodium percentage, CECcation exchange capacity, WQ1 past irrigation water quality, WQ2 future irri-gation water quality

    Received 19 July 2000; accepted 28 August 2000.Address correspondence to Dr. James W. Bauder, Soil and Water Quality Specialist, Department of

    Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Leon Johnson Hall, Montana State University, PO Box173120, Bozeman, Montana 59717-3120 , USA. E-mail: jbauder@montana.edu

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  • The Powder River drains approximately 34,700 km2 of northeastern Wyoming andsoutheastern Montana. Nearly 4,500 ha in Montana are irrigated with Powder Riverwater. The geology of the basin which Powder River drainage includes some igneousand metamorphic rocks but the vast majority of the basin is underlain by sedimentsof marine origin, including limestone, sandstone, gypsiferous shales, and siltstones.The combination of low precipitation (
  • The columns were then arranged as a 4 4 2 complete factorial, randomizedblock design, with three replications. Main treatments included three crop speciesand a noncropped control, three surface-applied soil amendments and a nontreatedcontrol, and two irrigation water qualities, representing ` past (WQ1) and antici-pated ` future (WQ2) irrigation water qualities. Irrigation water constituents andcriteria were based on historic Powder River water quality data and trends, analyzedand reported by Dalby (1988) and presumed to have a consequence of increasingTDS levels of irrigation water due to upstream oil and natural gas well development.Ionic speciation analyses were performed for the intended water qualities to ensurethat the irrigation waters were not supersaturated with respect to CaCO3. Waterquality of both irrigation sources is summarized in Table 2.

    Amendment treatments included (1) CaSO4 12.9 Mg ha1, (2) P-CaSO4, 12.8

    Mg ha1, (3) MgCl2 10.5 Mg ha1, and (4) no amendment (control). Phospho-

    gypsum consists of 80 99% CaSO4, mineral impurities, and less than 1% PO34

    (Keren and Shainberg 1981). The amendments were applied to the soil surfaceand incorporated by mixing the soil to a depth of 0.1m. These rates were determinedto be needed to reduce the ESP of the preexperiment soil by 7%, i.e., essentiallyreplacing all of the exchangeable Na throughout the length of the columns. Croptreatments included: alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), var. `Ladak 65 ; barley (Hordeumvulgare L.), var. `Steptoe ; and sorghum-sudangras s [Sorghum vulgare Pers.Sorghum drummondii) (sordan) (Steudel) Millsp. & Chase], var. `Sordan 79 .Sorghum-sudangras s is commonly referred to as sordan.

    Three successive barley crops were grown. Alfalfa and sordan were planted atthe beginning of the experiment and regrowth was repeatedly harvested. All cropswere harvested when barley reached the soft dough stage growth stage 11.2 (Large,

    Amending and L eaching Sodic Soils 103

    TABLE 1 Physical and chemical properties of preexperimentHaverson silty clay

    Property Preexperiment value

    EC 2.47 dS m1

    SAR 5.36Saturation water content 0.68 m3 m3

    Bulk density 1.07 Mg m3

    pH 8.27Exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) 6.9%Cation exchange capacity (CEC) 24.7 cmolc kg

    1

    Alkalinitya 208 mg kg1

    CaCO3 content 5:2 103 kg kg1

    a Alkalinity measured in the form of HCO3 .

    TABLE 2 Ionic composition and chemical criteria of irrigation water treatments

    Constituent

    TotalWater Ca2 Mg2 Na K Cl HCO3 SO

    24 dissolved

    quality solids ECtreatment mg kg1 dsm1 SAR SARadj pHcmol L

    1

    WQ1 0.50 0.33 0.24 0.03 0.09 0.23 0.77 747 0.97 1.15 2.5 8.3WQ2 0.50 0.40 1.49 0.02 0.55 0.38 1.48 1647 2.21 2.22 16.6 8.5

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  • 1954), coinciding with each fth irrigation, for a total of three harvests and 15irrigation events.

    Drainage Water and Posttreatment Soil Analyses

    Water was applied at two-week intervals. The entire study lasted approximately 30weeks beyond initial conditioning of the soil columns and crop establishment.Columns were weighed before each irrigation, and average evapotranspiration wascalculated for each crop to determine the amount of water necessary to achieve thedesired leaching fraction. Each column was individually irrigated, using a supplyreservoir and a drip emitter to provide a constant leaching fraction of approximately0.1 to all columns. Following crop establishment, all drainage water was collectedfrom each column after each irrigation. Leachate volume, electrical conductivity(EC), and Na of all leachate samples were measured. Drainage water was analyzedfor SAR following selected irrigation events. Drainage water analyzed for alkalinitywas collected in plastic bags sealed to drainage tubes to prevent precipitation ofCaCO3. Alkalinity in the form of HCO

    3 and pH were measured within 24 hours

    of leachate collection. Following the third crop cycle, soil from 0 0.05m, 0.2 0.25m,and 0.4 0.45m depths of each column was sampled and analyzed to determinepostexperiment soil saturated paste extract EC and SAR.

    Statistical Analyses

    Statistical analyses were performed using SAS (Statistical Analysis System, 1998).Analysis of variance for a three-way interaction of irrigation water quality, soilamendment, and crop was performed on all data. In addition, analyses of variancewere performed for two-way interactions for drainage water quality and crop yield.Analyses of variance were performed to determine signi cance of di erences ofpostexperiment soil chemical data by depth and by crop depth.

    Due to missing data, the General Linear Models (GLM) procedure was used foranalysis of variance; Duncans Multiple Range Test was used for comparisonsamong treatment means.

    Results and Discussion

    Na and Salt Leaching

    E ciency of treatments for removing Na from the soil was evaluated as mmoleNa leached per pore volume of leachate (Figure 1 and Figure 2). Data pointscoincide with irrigation events and represent gross or total amount of Na or saltleached from the columns, i.e., the values have not been adjusted to account for theamount of Na or salt added with irrigation water.

    Irrigation with water having SARadj 16:6 and TDS 1647 mg L1 signi -cantly (P 0:05) increased concentration of Na in drainage water relative to e ectsof irrigation with water having SARadj 1:15 and TDS 747 mg L1. This increasein Na concentration was a re ection of additional salt load to the soil and drainagewater from irrigation with the more sodic and more saline WQ2 and displacement ofNa from the soil exchange complex. The preexperiment soil SAR was 5.36, with anassociated ESP of 6.9%.

    AmendmentsMagnesium chloride resulted in greater Na leaching throughout the experiment

    than treatment with the other amendments or the control for all crops except barley(Figure 2). Amendments had no signi cant cumulative e ect on Na leaching whenapplied to columns planted to barley, although columns planted to barley and

    104 J. W . Bauder and T . A. Brock

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  • Amending and L eaching Sodic Soils 105

    FIGURE 1 E ect of irrigation water quality, amendment, and crop species onNa leaching. (Values averaged over interactions. Treatment means followed bythe same letter are not signi cantly di erent at P 0:05, according to Duncansgrouping.)

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  • treated with MgCl2 initially had signi cantly greater Na leaching than the non-

    treated columns. On the basis of the cumulative amount of Na leached from thecolumns treated with MgCl2, it appears that the MgCl2 was almost completelydissolved and either exchanged or leached from the columns cropped to barley bythe end of the fth irrigation. Leaching of MgCl2 out of the columns also mayexplain the decline in Na leaching over time from columns planted to barley andtreated with MgCl2.

    CaSO4 and P-CaSO4 treatments caused signi cantly greater P < 0:05) Naleaching than the control treatment, but they did not di er signi cantly from eachother.

    CropsColumns planted to barley had signi cantly greater (P < 0:05) Na

    leachingthan the other cropped columns, although the Na leaching decreased over time.

    106 J. W . Bauder and T . A. Brock

    FIGURE 2 E ect of irrigation water quality or amendment on Na leaching withincrop treatments. (Values averaged over interactions.)

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  • Columns planted to sordan had the least Na leaching throughout the experiment.Sodium removal from columns planted to alfalfa was similar to that from the non-cropped treatment during the rst harvest cycle. However, by the last harvest cycleNa leaching from columns planted to alfalfa was greater than from columnsplanted to barley. The increases in Na leaching with time of columns planted toalfalfa was most likely a consequence of the alfalfa becoming established and tran-spiration increasing.

    Columns planted to alfalfa and treated with P-CaSO4 or CaSO4 had signi -cantly greater (P < 0:05) Na

    leaching than the control columns. Within the alfalfacrop, all amendments increased Na leaching above the control treatment. However,as the leachate volume increased, P-CaSO4 caused greater Na

    leaching than CaSO4or the control treatment in columns cropped to barley or noncropped. Noncroppedcolumns had moderately high Na leaching. High water contents most likelyrestricted the extent to which salt precipitation occurred and promoted ushing ofNa from the soil.

    Sodium Adsorption Ratio of Drainage Water

    Main treatment e ects on SAR of the drainage water are shown in Figure 3. As wasexpected, SAR of leachate from columns irrigated with WQ2 was signi cantlygreater (P < 0:05) than SAR of leachate from columns irrigated with WQ1. SARof the drainage water increased over the duration of the study. The SAR of drainagewater from columns irrigated with either water source became greater than the SARof the preexperiment saturated soil extract or the irrigation water, indicati...

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