Practical experience with the professional management of saline soils respectively with saline waters (e.g. sewage waters, reuse of drainage waters) in irrigated agriculture shows that there is an urgent need of continuous monitoring of soil and water salinity (irrigation, drainage and groundwater). Professional management decisions with respect to agricultural production and environmental protection have to be based on relevant soil and water chemical data, especially in cases where irrigation waters of critical qualities are used.
The sampling and analysis of relevant chemical data requires staff members experienced in the collection of samples (soils, waters, plants) and their analysis as well as the interpretation of the measured records. The data interpretation has to be considered as an important tool for adequate management decisions in a very complex affair, as many site factors such as properties of soils, groundwater, crops, climate, topography, drainage conditions, soil fertility, nutrient contents of the water, irrigation technique etc. have to be evaluated.
In order to cover the need of analytical data irrigation projects exposed to saline growth conditions are linked with stationary laboratories. It is expected that these laboratories will supply the projects with the required data for an optimal soil and water management. In the case of management of saline soils and saline water application there is very often a need for rapid informations on relevant chemical data in order to prevent serious damages to crops or other plants. Whereas soil parameters such as e.g. Phosphate, pH, Potassium may be relatively constant over a longer period, soil salinity may change rapidly and thus affect plant growth suddenly. However practical experience in many countries shows that most laboratories cannot correspond the demand for a rapid record supply required for a professional soil and water management under saline conditions.
The lack of relevant informations on chemical data on soils, waters and plants at field level can be covered to the required accuracy without the support of stationary laboratories by using the ‚SALINITY AND SOIL FERTILITY KIT'. The use of this portable field laboratory and the quantitative interpretation of the measured records at local conditions is the main objective of the proposed training on the job course.
The participants will learn about
Plant growth under saline soils conditions
Aspects of soil, water and plant sampling
Chemical analysis of samples with the SALINITY AND SOIL FERTILITY KIT
Interpretation of analytical data
The participant will be able to collect, analyse and interprete all site specific, relevant data with respect to a proper management of saline soils and waters.
TRAINING ON THE JOB PROGRAMME
Principally the proposed training may cover all aspects mentioned in the contents of the Manual ‚SALINITY AND SOIL FERTILITY KIT'. However this approach will be considered in most cases as too comprehensive and thus even confusing, as the usual management will require only the continuous determination of some principal parameters. In order to avoid unnecessary confusion at field level, it is recommended to concentrate the training programme on those components that are of specific relevance under local conditions.
This concept requires a detailed analysis and understanding processes causing local salinity problems. Consequently it is urgently recommended that a programme for a training on the job course aiming to a sustainable development of plant growth under saline conditions is based on a study analysing all environmental parameters affecting salinity at local conditions.