Risk factors for salinity

  • Soil type and drainage – heavy soils have greater risk than well-drained soils. Remember, the goal is to have salt leaching beyond the root zone (see Salt leaching techniques).

  • Frequency of irrigation – salt accumulation occurs as the soil dries out. If the drip line/tape is on the surface or shallow buried, salts can become concentrated at the soil surface. In conditions of high evaporation and low rainfall, it is not advisable to use light and frequent irrigation.

  • Climatic conditions – in Mediterranean and arid climates, where there is a distinct long dry season followed by a wet season, at the first rain event, it is critical to operate the drip system to push the salt through the root zone. This is required because the rain will bring the salt closer to the root zone.


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