Prospectus of Growing Barley and Mustard with Saline Groundwater Irrigation in Fine-and Coarse-Textured Soils of Cholistan Desert

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Year Published: 2009
Month Published: October
Author: Muhammad Akram Kahlown, Muhammad Akram, Zamir Ahmed Soomro, and W.D. Kemper
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The groundwater in Pakistani sandy deserts is generally highly saline and not suitable for drinking. However, it can be utilized for growing beneficial salt-tolerant plants. To explore the potential of desert land for farm production two crops of barley and mustard were cultivated on coarse- and fine-textured soils with saline water irrigations in the Cholistan desert. The salinity (electrical conductivity, EC) of irrigation water was 6.2 dSm 1. The barley and
mustard crops were irrigated five and four times, respectively, including pre-sowing irrigation. At the end of crop maturity, as a result of saline water irrigation the soil infiltration was reduced by an average of 7.0%. The EC and exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) of the experimental plots were increased by 2.2 dSm 1 and 9.0, respectively. The average yield of barley and mustard was 264 and 177 kg ha 1 respectively. It was concluded that production of barley and mustard crops could be increased further by better levelling the plots, reducing level differences to less than 10 cm. The saline water should be used carefully to irrigate fine-textured soils to keep the salinity within the safe limit to avoid permanent failure of crop growth and yield.

Pages: 469-481
Volume: 58
Number: 4
Journal: Irrigation and Drainage
Journal ISO:
Organization: International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
ISSN: 1531-0353
DOI: 10.1002/ird.413

Saline Groundwater; Cholistan; Thal; Kharan; Fine Texture; Coarse Texture; Barley; Mustard

Source: International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID)
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