Crops and Cropping Sequences for Harnessing Productivity Potential of Sodic Soils

  • Y. P. SinghEmail author


It is conjectured that about 1.2 billion ha of land around the world are affected with different levels of salinity. In India, about 6.7 million ha of land are affected by salt, including salinity and sodicity. Of this, about 3.77 million ha of land is affected specifically by sodicity. After reclamation of these soils, rice is recommended as a first crop due to certain adaptive traits. However, complementing the reclamation intervention with salt-tolerant high-yielding and acceptable rice varieties holds great promise and has delivered many dividends and impact under such conditions. Developing varieties that are suitable for specific environments is one of the major challenges for improving food security in rural resource poor communities. Thus, breeding rice plants for adaptation to salt stress situations has been proved to be an economically feasible and environmentally viable plant-based approach. There are a large number of rice varieties that are grown from coastal to inland saline and sodic ecosystems. Varieties suitable for one ecosystem may or may not be suitable for other ecosystems. Since the ecology of salt-affected environments differs from one area to another, it is imperative to develop cultivars that are adapted to specific environments. Farmers’ continued cultivation of traditional low-yielding rice varieties is due to the non-availability of improved salt-tolerant varieties. Plant breeders often consider yield, flowering duration, height and the ability to withstand salt stress as important traits while developing new varieties. However, farmers prefer other traits such as higher straw yield, suitable plant height, threshability, earliness, grain quality and disease resistance. Farmer’s participatory varietal selection (FPVS) approach adopted for developing salt-tolerant varieties has been proven to be an effective approach in harnessing productivity potential of varieties and increasing genetic diversity in crops. Keeping with these advantages as well as fast adoption of selected varieties and farmer-to-farmer seed networks, on-station and on-farm varietal development and dissemination studies were conducted under varying sodic environments in Uttar Pradesh, India, to harness productivity potential of salt-affected soils in the Indo-Gangetic river basin with available technologies. This paper covers the success story of farmer’s participatory varietal development, dissemination and adoption programme initiated at the Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Regional Research Station, Lucknow, to enhance production and productivity of rice in the target sodic areas of Indo-Gangetic plains.


Salt-affected soils Varietal development Participatory varietal selection Dissemination Adoption 


  1. Bhudayal, Singh, R. B., Chauhan, S. K., Chauhan, R. S., Shishodia, P. K., & Gupta, S. K. (2011). Crop production with saline/alkali water for enhanced productivity in arid and semi-arid region (Published by Principal). Agra: R.B.S. College.Google Scholar
  2. Chhabra, R., & Abrol, I. P. (1977). Reclaiming effect of rice grown in sodic soils. Soil Science, 124, 49–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dargan, K. S., Gaul, B. K., & Abrol, I. P. (1973). Growing sugarcane in saline-alkali soil. Indian Farming, 23(2), 9–10.Google Scholar
  4. Gupta, R. K., & Tyagi, N. K. (1980). A procedure for minimizing required tubewell capacity in irrigated rice. Irrigation Science, 1, 253–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Khosla, B. K., Dargan, K. S., Abrol, I. P., & Bhumbla, D. R. (1973). Effect of depth of mixing gypsum on soil properties and yields of barley, rice and wheat grown on saline sodic soils. Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 43, 1024–1031.Google Scholar
  6. Kumar, A., & Abrol, I. P. (1986). Grasses in sodic soils (Bulletin No. 11, p. 95). Karnal: Central Soil Salinity Research Institute.Google Scholar
  7. Mass, E. V. (1986). Salt tolerance of plants. Applied Agriculture, 1, 2–26.Google Scholar
  8. Mass, E. V., & Hoffman, G. J. (1977). Crop salt tolerance current assessment. Journal of Irrigation Drainage Division ASCE, 103, 115–134.Google Scholar
  9. Minhas, P. S., & Gupta, R. K. (1992). Quality of irrigation water: Assessment and management (p. 123). New Delhi: ICAR.Google Scholar
  10. Sharma, R. C., Rao, B. R. M., & Saxena, R. K. (2004). Salt affected soils in India-Current Assessment in advances in sodic land reclamation. International Conference on sustainable Management of sodic Lands, Lucknow, India, pp. 1–26.Google Scholar
  11. Sharma, P., & Swarup, A. (1990). Microbial oxidation of pyrites in relation to its efficiency for reclamation of alkali soils (Rep. 1990-91), Karnal: CSSRI.Google Scholar
  12. Singh, N. T. (1998). Reclamation and management of Alkali soils. In N. K. Tyagi & P. S. Minhas (Eds.), Agricultural Salinity management (pp. 261–278). Karnal: CSSRI.Google Scholar
  13. Singh, Y. P., Mishra, V. K., Singh, S., Sharma, D. K., Singh, D., Singh, U. S., et al. (2016). Productivity of sodic soils can be enhanced through the use of salt tolerant rice varieties and proper agronomic practices. Field Crop Research, 190, 82–90.Google Scholar
  14. Singh, Y. P., Ranbir, S., Sharma, D. K., & Gangwar, N. P. (2008). Alternate options to rice (Oryza sativa) –wheat (Triticum aestivum) cropping system for partially reclaimed sodic soils of Uttar Pradesh. Current Science, 95(5), 667–670.Google Scholar
  15. Singh, Y. P., Ranbir, S., & Sharma, D. K. (2010). Determination of time frame for substitution of salt tolerant varieties of rice and wheat for productivity enhancement of sodic soils. Indian Journal of Agricultural Science, 80(7), 245–250.Google Scholar
  16. Singh, K. N., & Sharma, D. P. (1991). Crop sequence for saline soils provided with sub surface drainage (Annual Report 1991–92, p. 39). CSSRI.Google Scholar
  17. Singh, Y. P., Singh, R., Sharma, D. K., & Singh, G. (2009). Synergy of reduced gypsum and salt tolerant varieties: A low cost technology for reclamation of sodic soils (Technical Bulletin No. 01/2009). Karnal: CSSRI.Google Scholar
  18. Singhandhupe, R. B., & Rajput, R. K. (1989). Response of rice to irrigation and nitrogen source and rate in an alkaline soil. In National symposium on management o irrigation system, Karnal, India, February 24–27, pp. 149–155.Google Scholar
  19. Swarup, A., & Singh, K. N. (1989). Effect of 12 years’ rice/wheat cropping sequence and fertilizer use on soil properties and crop yields in sodic soil. Field Crops Research, 21, 277–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Tyagi, N. K. (1978). Some design aspects of ponded boarders with cut-back stream in alkali soils. Current Agriculture, 2, 13–18.Google Scholar
  21. Yadav, J. S. P., & Agarwal, R. R. (1959). Dynamics of soil changes in the reclamation of saline sodic soils of the Indo-gangetic alluvium. Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science, 7, 214–222.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Regional Research StationLucknowIndia

Personalised recommendations