Water salinity and plant irrigation

Page last updated: Thursday, 7 February 2019 - 12:00pm

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Crop tolerance tables

Table 5 Vegetable crop tolerance to irrigation with saline water on loamy soil
Crop

0% yield loss

EC (mS/m)

10% yield loss

EC (mS/m)

25% yield loss

EC (mS/m)

Asparagus 270-635 No data available No data available
Bean 70 100 150
Beetroot 270 340 450
Broccoli 190 260 370
Cabbage 120 190 290
Capsicum 100 150 220
Carrot 70 110 190
Cauliflower 90-270 No data available

No data available

Celery 120 230 390
Cucumber 170 220 290
Kale 270-635

No data available

No data available

Lettuce 90 140 210
Onion 80 120 180
Parsnip 90 No data available No data available
Peas 90 No data available No data available
Potato 110 170 250
Pumpkin 90-270

No data available

No data available

Radish 80 130 210
Rockmelon 90-270 No data available No data available
Spinach 130 220 350
Squash 210 260 320
Sweetcorn 110 170 250
Sweet potato 100 160 250
Tomato 170 230 340
Watermelon 150 240 380
Table 6 Fruit crop tolerance to irrigation with saline water with loamy soil
Crop

0% yield loss

EC (mS/m)

10% yield loss

EC (mS/m)

25% yield loss

EC (mS/m)

Almond 100 140 190
Apple No data available 150 No data available
Apricot 110 130 180
Avocado 90 No data available

No data available

Blackberries 100 130 180
Date palm 270 450 730
Fig No data available 253 No data available
Grapefruit 120 160 220
Grape 100 170 270
Mulberry 90-270 No data available No data available
Nectarine 90

No data available

No data available
Olive No data available 250 No data available
Orange 110 160 220
Peach 110 130 180
Pear No data available 150 No data available
Plum 100 140 190
Pomegranate No data available 250 No data available
Raspberry No data available 90 No data available
Strawberry 70 90 120
Table 7 Pasture and fodder crop tolerance to irrigation with saline water with loamy soil
Crop

0% yield loss

EC (mS/m)

10% yield loss

EC (mS/m)

25% yield loss

EC (mS/m)

 
Birdsfoot trefoil 330 400 500  
Cocksfoot 100 210 370  
Couch 270-635 No data available No data available  
Kikuyu grass 270-635 No data available No data available  
Lovegrass 130 210 330  
Paspalum dilatatum 270-635 No data available No data available  
Perennial ryegrass 370 460 590  
Phalaris 310 380 530  
Puccinellia 635-2365 No data available No data available  
Red clover 100 160 240  
Rhodes grass 270-635 No data available No data available  
Saltwater couch 635-2365 No data available No data available  
Strawberry clover 100 160 240  
Sub clover 100 110 240  
Sudan grass 190 340 570  
Tall fescue 260 390 570  
Tall wheat grass 500 660 900  
White clover 90 No data available No data available  
Barley (hay) 400 490 630  
Lucerne 130 220 360  
Maize 110 170 250  
Sorghum 450 500 560  

In Tables 5, 6 and 7 detailed yield loss data is not available for some crops. A maximum recommended concentration or range of concentrations is given. The data should serve only as a guide. Absolute tolerances vary depending on climate, soil conditions and cultural practices.

Table 8 Maximum recommended electrical conductivity of irrigation water for selected ornamentals with increasing tolerance within groups
EC (mS/m) Plant
90 Primula, gardenia, star jasmine, begonia, rose, azalea, camellia, ivy, magnolia, fuchsia
90-270 Hibiscus, geranium, gladiolus, bauhinia, zinnia, aster, poinsettia, lantana, Thuja orientalis, hop bush (Dodonea attenuata), banana emu bush (Podocarpus),  Juniperus chinensis, bottlebrush
270-635 Stock, chrysanthemum, carnation, oleander, rosemary, bougainvillea, vinca, coprosma, Ficus spp., NZ Christmas bush (Metrosideros tomentosa), Bangalay gum (Eucalyptus botryoides), river red gum (E. camaldulensis), Rottnest teatree (Melaleuca cupressiformis), Rottnest cypress (Callitris robusta), Acacia longifolia, buffalo grass, kikuyu, portulaca, boobialla (Myoporum acuminatum), morrel (E. oleosa), swamp yate (E. occidentalis), York gum (E. loxophleba), swamp mallet (E. spathulata), couch grass, bamboo
635-2365 Salt river gum (E. sargentii), saltwater couch, Melaleuca thyoides, salt sheoaks (Allocasuarina cristata and A glauca), saltbush

Acknowledgement

The original content of this page was authored by Neil Lantzke, Tim Calder and John Burt.

Contact information

Rohan Prince
+61 (0)8 9368 3210