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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Forage Yield, Quality and Livestock Production Using Saline Drainage Water in the San Joaquin Valley

Authors
item Kaffka, Stephen - UC, DAVIS
item Oster, James - UC, RIVERSIDE
item Hoque, M - UC, DAVIS
item Corwin, Dennis

Submitted to: Proceedings of the International Salinity Forum
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 25, 2005
Publication Date: April 25, 2005
Repository URL: http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/53102000/pdf_pubs/P2142.pdf
Citation: Kaffka, S., Oster, J., Hoque, M., Corwin, D.L. 2005. Forage yield, quality and livestock production using saline drainage water in the san joaquin valley. Proceedings of the International Salinity Forum. pp 269-272

Interpretive Summary: In the western San Joaquin Valley of California, many soils are saline and the presence of shallow, saline water tables in low lying areas threatens crop production. Regulations forbid the disposal of saline drainage water in the San Joaquin River and its tributaries. Without a means to dispose of saline drainage water, increasing amounts of farm land will become salt impaired and become unprofitable to farm. The use of underlying groundwater and limited numbers of evaporation basins for disposal of the large volume of drainage water produced is not sustainable or is restricted by regulations. As an alternative disposal strategy, we are testing whether saline-sodic drainage and/or other waste waters can be used in an environmentally sound manner for forage and livestock production. The goal is to use salt tolerant forages to support economic weight gain by cattle or sheep. If economic forage and livestock production can be based on the reuse of drainage water or other waste waters, this unused water will be transformed from an environmental burden into an economic asset. The amount of water that must be disposed to groundwater or in evaporation ponds will be reduced dramatically. Other economic and environmental benefits associated with irrigated pasture also will be realized.

Technical Abstract: In the western San Joaquin Valley of California, many soils are saline and the presence of shallow, saline water tables in low lying areas threatens crop production. Regulations forbid the disposal of saline drainage water in the San Joaquin River and its tributaries. Without a means to dispose of saline drainage water, increasing amounts of farm land will become salt impaired and become unprofitable to farm. The use of underlying groundwater and limited numbers of evaporation basins for disposal of the large volume of drainage water produced is not sustainable or is restricted by regulations. As an alternative disposal strategy, we are testing whether saline-sodic drainage and/or other waste waters can be used in an environmentally sound manner for forage and livestock production. The goal is to use salt tolerant forages to support economic weight gain by cattle or sheep. If economic forage and livestock production can be based on the reuse of drainage water or other waste waters, this unused water will be transformed from an environmental burden into an economic asset. The amount of water that must be disposed to groundwater or in evaporation ponds will be reduced dramatically. Other economic and environmental benefits associated with irrigated pasture also will be realized.

Last Modified: 12/26/2014
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