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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SALINITY AND TRACE ELEMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH WATER REUSE IN IRRIGATED SYSTEMS: PROCESSES, SAMPLING PROTOCOLS, AND SITE-SPECIFIC MANAGEMENT Title: Saline Soils in the Red River Valley

Authors
item Ulmer, Mike - USDA-NRCS BISMARCK, ND
item Benedict, Paul - USDA-NRCS BISMARCK, ND
item CORWIN, DENNIS
item Potts, David - USDA-NRCS THI RIV FAL,MN
item Doolittle, Jim - USDA-NRCS LINCOLN, NE
item Anderson, Keith - USDA-NRCS FARGO, ND

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2007
Publication Date: November 8, 2007
Citation: Ulmer, M., Benedict, P., Corwin, D.L., Potts, D., Doolittle, J., Anderson, K. 2007. Saline Soils in the Red River Valley. American Society of Agronomy Abstracts. Paper No. 1321.

Technical Abstract: The Red River Valley of the North stretches over 315 miles from northeastern South Dakota through northwestern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota into southern Manitoba. Nearly all this area is in dryland farms and is highly productive. Salinity has been recognized as a major factor affecting crop production. Many areas are impacted with slight levels of salinity. Slight salinity has been called “invisible” salinity by Canadian researchers. Slight salinity is not readily seen on the landscape but can significantly impact production and, without proper management, may lead to increased levels of salinity. It is estimated there are almost 2 million acres of salt-affected soils in the Red River Valley. The estimated economic impact of salinity is between $60 and 110 million dollars annually. A high degree of spatial and temporal variability complicates the management of saline areas in the Red River Valley. There are many successful approaches to large-scale salinity management from outside the Valley. Australia has become a leader and innovator in salinity management. Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada have aggressively promoted a watershed approach to salinity management. The Montana Salinity Control Association is an agency that is organized similar to soil conservation districts. They have been successful in addressing salinity problems in northern and eastern Montana and are a good example of a successful, locally-led, conservation program.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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