Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/22/2008
Publication Date: 12/1/2008
Citation: Jalankuzov, T., Suleimenov, B., Busscher, W.J. 2008. Management of sierozem soils for irrigated cotton production in South Kazakhstan. In: Proceedings of Soils 2008: Soil-The Living Skin of Plant Earth Conference, December 1-5, 2008, Palmerston North, New Zealand. 2008 Thumb Drive.
Technical Abstract: Because cotton is an important crop in South Kazakhstan, it is irrigated to get economically viable yields. Irrigation management is challenging because water and soils are saline and because water must be conserved so that some of it can refill the Aral Sea. From 2006 to 2008, we grew furrow-irrigated cotton on non-saline, moderately-saline, highly-saline sierozem soils. At the beginning of the growing seasons, these treatments were leached with 20-cm of water to flush salts out of the soil. A fourth treatment included pasture as a non-cropped, non-irrigated control. Salts contents of the various treatments were 8700 mg/kg for the pasture, 2350 to 2550 mg/kg for the non-saline and moderately-saline, and 4350 mg/kg in the highly-saline soils. The higher salinity of the pasture attested to the leaching of salts from the irrigated-cotton treatments by relatively pure irrigation water from the Syr River (1.17 g/L to 1.37 g/L). The pasture had more organic matter, more evidence of invertebrate activity, and no pans; the cotton treatments had a plow pan at 20- to 30-cm depth and an agric horizon/pan at 30- to 40-cm depth. Seed cotton yields were about the same for the non- and moderately-saline treatments (2530 and 2180 kg/ha) and about half that at the highly saline treatment (1250 kg/ha) despite leaching with irrigation water. Cotton management at highly saline treatments needed to have more irrigation leaching salts out of the root zone or more salt tolerant varieties of cotton.