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Reduced yield? Solutions do not seem to work? Salinity and sodicity may be the problem!

Did you know that salinity and sodicity are abiotic stresses? While other environmental abiotic stresses such as heat, cold, drought and flooding can be thought of as more “transient” abiotic stresses, salinity and sodicity are what can be thought of as “permanent” abiotic stresses.

They are often present from day one of the crop cycle and usually increase in intensity as the crop develops across the season.

Maybe your crops are suffering from salinity and sodicity without you even knowing?

Salinity and sodicity affect between ¼ and ⅓ of global agricultural lands and it is estimated that 50% of agricultural land will be affected by 2050. Spain, the Magreb region, the Middle East, Australia and parts of Mexico, among other regions, are suffering from increased salinity and sodicity problems.

Reproduced from Energy& Environmental Science(2011) 4, 2677 with permission from the Royal Society of Chemistry

However, there is often confusion between salinity and sodicity.

  • Salinity: The accumulation of salts in the soil, the most important of these are Sodium (Na), Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Chloride (Cl) and Sulphate (S) salts
  • Sodicity: The accumulation of Sodium (Na) in the soil

Why do salinity and sodicity have such a strong impact on crop yield?

The impact of salinity and sodicity on crop yield and profitability is so strong because of the cumulative abiotic stress effect of both problems on plants. Both salinity and sodicity include many different associated stresses and may cause:

  • water imbalances in the crop that can mimic drought stress, as it is harder for the plant to absorb water from saline and sodic soils
  • reduced nutrient uptake and nutrient imbalances in the plant
  • energy deficiency due to the expenditure of energy to absorb sufficient water and excrete excess salts
  • tissue death particularly at the leaf margin and growing tip
  • less growth rate, flowering, pollen viability, fruit set and fruit quality due to the combined effects of the above factors

How can you manage salinity and sodicity?

Soil salinity and sodicity are probably the most difficult abiotic stresses to manage. Once they make their first appearance in the field, salinity and / or sodicity are likely to reappear each year as the soil properties have been fundamentally altered.

The good news is that not everything is lost. You still have an opportunity to fight back in two different ways:

  • On one hand, you can minimise the accumulation of salinity and sodicity in the soil by adapting agronomic management practices, particularly relating to water and soil.
  • On the other hand, the introduction of products, particularly Biostimulants, into crop management programs, aids crops to tolerate the increased abiotic stresses, helping to protect yield, quality and profitability.

Tradecorp’s Biostimulation 360 program is the perfect tool to overcome the abiotic stresses caused by salinity and sodicity, since their application facilitates:

  • Enhanced root development
  • Reduced transplanting and early growth problems
  • Promotes flowering and fruit set
  • Reduces fruit drop

With less salinity and sodicity stress, you can achieve increased fruit quality, more yield and most importantly greater profitability from your harvests.

Next post:

In our next post, you will learn how to develop the best strategy to overcome salinity and sodicity problems in your crops, allowing you to boost your profitability.

Stay tuned!