Salinity tolerance – an improved option for yield and quality in saline soils

Hi-Salt Salinity Tolerant Alfalfa

  • Reduces seedling loss during stand establishment
  • Increases total farm yield
  • Helps curb and remediate salinity

 

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Soil salinity’s impact on yield

Salinity is a natural byproduct of irrigated and dryland agriculture in low rainfall areas. Over time, soluble salts move upward in the soil profile and when rainfall or irrigation are not sufficient to leach accumulating soluble salts from the root zone. As a result, salinity rises and begins to interfere with crop growth. 

Salinity of soil and irrigation water is usually measured and expressed as ECs or Electrical Conductivity. Soil with an EC range of less than 1.0 will have little effect on germination or yield. Soils with an EC measurement of 4.0 can increase seedling mortality by 35% and decrease yield by 15%. For every EC point above a variety’s salinity threshold, yield decreases by 7.5%.*

Alforex® Salinity Tolerant Alfalfa

Through focused breeding, Alforex has developed salinity tolerant varieties that reduce the impact of salinity by 2.0 to 3.0 EC points. For a field with EC measurements approaching EC 4.0, the expected 35% seedling mortality and 15% yield loss can be reduced to a negligible amount.** For fields with even higher levels of salinity, varieties with the salinity tolerant trait have allowed producers to plant alfalfa in areas where it was otherwise thought to be impossible.

Salt-tolerant alfalfa varieties, like AFX 779, PGI 908-S, CISCO II and Rugged offer growers a new tool for production regions affected by salinity. These varieties raise the salinity threshold over unimproved varieties to maximize seasonal forage yield.

Alfalfa Management Guide for Saline Soils

Download our Management Guide for more information on growing alfalfa in saline soils.

* Maas,E.V. 1984. Salt Tolerance of plants. In Handbook of Plant Science in Agriculture (ed). B.R. Christie CRC Press Inc.

** Benes, S., et. al., What Is The Ability Of Alfalfa To Sustain Saline Conditions? In Proceedings, 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grain Symposium,Long Beach, CA, 10-12 December, 2014. UC Cooperative Extension, Plant Sciences Department, University of California, Davis, CA 95616. (See http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu for this and other Alfalfa Symposium Proceedings.)