Properties and Productivity of a Salt Affected Saskatchewan Soil as Influenced by Growing a Salt Tolerant Forage and Amendment
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Carbon storage in salt-affected and low organic matter (<3%) soils may be enhanced through the use of high carbon content soil amendments along with growing salt-adapted crops. To investigate and compare carbon dynamics and water dynamics in saline and non-saline soils, two field experiments were established in the Brown soil zone in southern Saskatchewan in the spring of 2017 to assess effects of four added amendments (leonardite, humic acid, hydrochar, and composted steer manure) with AC Saltlander green wheatgrass seeded in the spring and the LFCE site in Clavet established in 2019 to assess effects of four added amendments (leonardite, humic acid, hydrochar, and composted steer manure) with Halo alfalfa alone and in combination with smooth bromegrass, slender wheatgrass and creeping foxtail. Total soil organic carbon, carbon fractions, crop growth and water dynamics including underground water table height and plant uptake water source via isotope analysis. The soil samples collected in the spring of 2017 prior to the establishment of treatments revealed similar organic carbon levels of 1.47% and 1.23% in the saline and non-saline sites, respectively. According to Hrycky (2018), the total soil organic carbon mass in the 0-10 cm depth was significantly increased by 23% and 16% in the leonardite amended treatment compared to all other treatments in the non-saline and saline soils, respectively. Biomass production in the 2019 growing season was less on the saline than the non- saline soil, and the organic amendments did not significantly increase the growth of any of the crops. This experiment aims to examine the long-term effect of organic matter amendments and crops on saline soil and the underground water table in wet and dry seasons. Reference Hrycyk P. J. 2018. Effect of organic soil amendments on carbon dynamics and productivity in saline and non-saline soils from Saskatchewan and Nigeria. University of Saskatchewan.
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