Problems of Salinity in Agriculture

  • D. L. Carter
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 15)


Millions of hectares of land throughout the world are too saline to produce economic crop yields, and more land becomes nonproductive each year because of salt accumulation. Salinity problems in agriculture are usually confined to arid and semiarid regions where rainfall is not sufficient to transport salts from the plant root zone. Such areas comprise 25% of the earth’s surface (Thorne and Peterson, 1954). Salinity is a hazard on about half of the irrigated area of the western USA (Wadleigh, 1968) and crop production is limited by salinity on about 25% of this land (Wadleigh, 1968; Thorne and Peterson, 1954; Bower and Fireman, 1957). The occurrence of salinity is similar in the arid regions of western Canada, the high plains of Mexico and the Pacific slopes of South America. Salt affected soils are also extensive in South Africa, Rhodesia, Egypt, Maroc-co, and Tunisia. Only small areas of salt affected soils occur in Europe, but extensive areas are present in Asia (Thorne and Peterson, 1954). In general, it can be concluded that salinity problems are found in all countries having areas where arid or semiarid climates exist.


Salt Concentration Irrigation Water Salt Tolerance Root Zone Drainage Water 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1975

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  • D. L. Carter

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