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Coastal soils: Issues with salinity

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Presentation on theme: "Coastal soils: Issues with salinity"— Presentation transcript:

1 Coastal soils: Issues with salinity
Mark Battany, Viticulture/Soils Farm Advisor San Luis Obispo & Santa Barbara Counties

2 Quick review of salinity
Water + salts Pure water Irrigation Evapotranspiration Salts in root zone Vineyard soil Leaching Salts below (or away from) root zone

3 Three salinity situations
Restricted drainage Salts can accumulate to high levels No leaching of rootzone Free drainage conditions, occasional leaching Salts can increase, but to some limit Will still affect vineyard performance

4 Restricted drainage East of Mendoza, Argentina

5 Limited natural rainfall leaching
Elqui Valley, Chile; source: Valle del Elqui, Chile

6 Occasional leaching

7 Effects on soil chemistry
Electrical conductivity (ECe) Plant growth decreases as soil EC increases Sodium Degrades soil structure, toxicity at high levels Chloride, boron Toxicity at high levels Bicarbonate Increases soil physical degradation pH Nutrient availability

8 Salt source: groundwater
Data from 56 wells in the Paso Robles area Source: Paso Robles Groundwater Basin Study Increasing problem potential Major problem potential

9 Vine productivity vs. soil EC
100% Relative growth or yield 0% Soil EC (dS/m)

10 Specific toxicity

11 Sodium Sodium salts; disperse organic matter & clay
Calcium salts; from amendments

12 Soil structure degradation
Effects of sodium and bicarbonate Vine growth, yield Soil degradation >>>

13 Paso Robles salinity survey
Soil EC (dS/m) 6.5 5.4 4.2 3.0 1.8 2006 data 0.6

14 salinity surveys

15 Soil EC values (2007)

16 Deeper soil salt fate Samples taken in May 2010, after relatively wet winter

17 Irrigation water analysis
meq/L mg/L pH ECw SAR Ca Mg Na Cl HCO3 B 7.8 1.81 4.6 3.4 6.0 9.9 6.4 4.8 0.93 Each season of irrigation water (1.25 ft) applies about 775 lbs of sodium per acre, and about 3.1 lbs of boron per acre Bicarbonate hazard low: Ca + Mg > HCO3

18 Sample site: Clay content
Percent clay Sample site: Clay content

19 Soil pH Sample site: pH

20 Electrical conductivity Sample site: ECe

21 Sodium Sample site: Sodium

22 Chloride Sample site: Cl

23 Boron Sample site: Boron

24 Managing vineyard salinity
Measure soils and water; heed recommendations Correct any drainage problems Adjust water chemistry Apply gypsum (or acid) as needed Leach with irrigation when rainfall insufficient Use tolerant rootstocks, varieties

25 Field salinity measurement

26 Drainage

27 Adjust water chemistry
Acidification Acid injection Sulfur burner Critical to manage waters with high pH and bicarbonates Blending with better water if available Reverse osmosis not feasible economically Miracle devices...magnets, electrodes, etc.

28 Gypsum Helps displace sodium Counteracts bicarbonate
Can use acid instead if soil has “free lime” Still need leaching water to remove sodium Gypsum will raise soil EC slightly

29 Additional leaching

30 Use more tolerant rootstocks
100% 1103P, 140R Salt Creek Relative growth or yield 0% Soil EC (dS/m)

31 Use more tolerant varieties
Example: Syrah vines in a block of Cabernet Sauvignon

32 Summary Central Coast salinity conditions are manageable (for the most part) but will require attention to keep impacts from becoming economically damaging Thanks: American Vineyard Foundation ASEV Grower support on Central Coast

33 Retrofitting with sprinklers

34 Salt toxicities

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