What are the agricultural impacts of saline water?

What are the agricultural impacts of saline water?

If you find yourself stranded on a boat in the middle the ocean, you may resort to drinking sea water to survive. Unfortunately, the salty contents of the sea are likely to do more harm than good as increased blood pressure, dehydration and kidney failure can result.

Similar to how humans cannot survive on salt water, the plants and livestock on Australian farms struggle to thrive and survive when offered only liquids with a high saline content.

Salinity can occur when floods and irrigation practices raise the underground water table, or when crops are irrigated with groundwater, so bringing naturally occurring salt closer to plant roots and water sources. This is dangerous occurrence for crops and livestock, as high salt levels have serious agricultural consequences.

Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink

As identified by the Ancient Mariner in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous poem, no matter how much salt water is available, a lack of fresh water can quickly lead to extreme dehydration.

For plant life, such as the vital crops on your farm, water is absorbed into plant roots through the process of osmosis. This means water moves from regions of low salt concentration (such as the soil) into the high salt concentration areas (the plant roots).

If the salt levels in the soil are too high, water may begin to flow in the opposite direction, leaving plants to dehydrate and underperform or even die.

Some crops have higher salt tolerance than others, yet even so, extreme salinity levels caused by floods or inefficient irrigation have serious impacts on crop productivity and the health of your livestock.

Similar to humans and plants, animals may have a rough trot during times when salt is concentrated in their drinking water. Signs of high salinity stress include diarrhoea and animals unaccustomed to the salinity avoiding drinking.

An effective water solution

Hydrosmart water conditioners provide environmentally sustainable water solutions, solving saline irrigation issues in a wide range of farming situations without the use of reject streams, or chemicals, and without high energy use.

Hydrosmart achieves this by using a computer-generated signal that is channelled into transmitter coils wrapped around a section of pipe which in turn is inserted into your line. By this means Hydrosmart puts a unique series of frequencies and pulses into water. It is these frequencies that beneficially affect the ionic balance of mineral salts in your water and allow plants to thrive by altering the osmotic pressure at the root zone. Microscopic salt crusts around root hairs are removed, and plants are able to take up water directly.

Over time through this treatment, soil also loses salt content into the lower soil layers and back into the water table. So Hydrosmart has both immediate and long term benefits for crops.

While Hydrosmart does not make saline water drinkable to humans, it has been shown in trials that it lessens scouring (diarrhoea) in livestock, and increases stock survival rates, so affecting your business’s bottom line positively. Beneficial minerals in the water also become bioavailable and contribute to good muscle tone in the animals.