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Does flood or furrow irrigation cause salinization?

Irrigation is a crucial agricultural practice, but it can also lead to soil salinization (Johnson et al., 2020). Flood irrigation, where water is applied to an entire field, can dissolve and transport salts to the root zone, causing soil salinization in areas with high salt content. Over-irrigation can also result in waterlogging, filling the soil pores with excess water and promoting the accumulation of salts. Similarly, furrow irrigation, which involves applying water to channels between crop rows, can exacerbate soil salinization by concentrating salts in the furrow bottoms through repeated applications of water (Rengasamy, 2006).

Proper management practices can reduce the negative impacts of flood and furrow irrigation on soil salinization. Johnson et al. (2020) suggest using salt-tolerant crops and implementing drainage systems to mitigate the negative effects of irrigation. Monitoring soil salinity levels and adjusting irrigation practices accordingly can also prevent salt accumulation in the soil (Rengasamy, 2006).

In conclusion, flood and furrow irrigation can contribute to soil salinization in areas with naturally high salt content or through over-irrigation. However, adopting proper management practices can minimize these negative impacts and ensure sustainable agriculture.


Johnson, T., Allison, R. J., & Hinckley, E. L. (2020). Soil Salinization: A Hidden Threat to Sustainable Agriculture. Environmental Science & Technology, 54(8), 4757-4759.

Rengasamy, P. (2006). World salinization with emphasis on Australia. Journal of Experimental Botany, 57(5), 1017-1023.