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Soluble Salt Analysis for Soils and Waters

10-1. All fertile soils have at least small amounts of soluble salts in them the

exchangeable cations equilibrate with the H 2 CO 3 , dissolved in soil pisture, yielding soluble carbonates and bicarbonates of the metallic cations and leaving the corresponding amount of hydrogen ion on the exchange. Traces to 100 ppm or more of nitrogen occur as nitrate salts in soils. Natural waters from rivers, lakes, and wells contain varying amounts dissolved salts. Runoff waters from soil carry soluble salts as well as spended solids. Lysimeter leachates contain dissolved salts. The acmulation of soil salts in larger amounts is ma inly through influx , runoff, and irrigation waters, followed by concentration by evapoinspiration. Varying amounts arise from the processes of nitrification, acidification, and fertilization. 10-2. Soil Salinity. When a soil contains an excess of soluble salts, it (?) a saline soil. Sometimes it is called a "white alkali" soil because of the white saline crust that sometimes appears on drying. Occurrence of soil classes:
1. Natural occurrence of excess salts in soil, in the absence of adequate drainage, usually in semiarid or arid regions, but also through marine waters or sediments even in humid and tropical areas. 2. Occurrence of excess salts in soil as a result of fertilizat ion, trouble-some in highly fertilized greenhouse soils and in fertilizer bands. This situation occurs frequently, even in humid soil regions, and includes the problem of salt index of fertilizers.

linity problems fall into 2 main

10.3. Soluble salt analysis for soils and waters generally concerns wether enough salt is present to cause interference with normal seed germination, plant growth, or plant intake of water. The determination of the actual amount of each ionic species in the soil salts is also important in the interpretation of the extent of their interference with plant function. Besides determination of both concentration and composition of salts in the soil solution and natural waters, soluble salt analysis includes the analysis of salt crusts and salt deposits such as CaSO 2 H 2 O (gypsum) and CaCO 3 (calcite) in the soil profile. 10.4. Water soluble salts occurring in soils in total amounts of over 0.1 per cent usually consist principally of the four cations Na + , K + , Ca 2 + , and Mg 2+ , linked mainly to C1 - and SO 4 2- , sometimes to NO 3 - and CO 3 - - , and to a limited extent to HCO 3 - . Usually 98 per cent of the soluble salts of saline soils consist of these ions. Soil salinity problems

frequently arise from Na + , Cl - , SO 4 - - but seldom from Ca ++ , Mg - - , CO 3 -- . Chlorosis is sometimes associated with high HCO 3 concentration coupled with high pH ( 10-5). Toxicity to plants of borate ion even in small amounts is important in irrigation waters and in saline soils. the ions Mn + + and Al ++ + are also toxic to plants if present in soil as soluble salts at more than quite low concentrations. 10.5. Soil Alkalinity. Associated with the occurrence of salinity or its aftermath is the occurrence of soil alkalinity, which in general is eviden ced by suffeciently high soil Ph to turn phenolphthalein pink or red (Ph 8.3 to 10 or 11). This range is frequently associated with a high percentage (15 to 85 per cent or more) of exchange saturation with Na in soils. The percentage of exchange saturation with Na is call ed the degree of alkalization ( 4-44). Poor permeability of the soil to water (under I cm/hr) frequently develops in association with over 15 per cent of Na saturation when the salinity is low. The poor permeability often persists as a detriment to productivity after the alkalinity has dropped to near neutral and even after the percentage Na saturation has been decreased. Saline and alkaline soils taken collectively are often termed alkali soils, although this meaning of the term alkali is not entirely acceptable in a chemical sense. A dispersive effect on the soil, somewhat like that of Na saturation, is tought to result from Mg saturation in excess of 30 per cent. DIRECT SEMIQUANTITATIVE TEST FOR SOIL SALINITY CONDUCTOMETRICALLY ON SOIL PASTE 10-6. A semiquantitative estimate of the salt content of a soil, by the electrical resistance of the soil paste, may be made by means of the salt bridge. The soil paste method gives a fair semiquantitative approximation except for soils low in salts but high in exchangeable Na.Appreciable occurr in resistance found with different soils having the same percentage of salts. Soils at the saturation moisture perc entage gave conductance 0.5 to 4.8 times the conductance of the correspond solutions. Nonetheless, the approximate measurement of the salt content by soil paste resistance is simple and rapid, and has been found to be extremely useful in field work, such as soil surveys, where wide variance in soil salt content occurs in short distances. The soil paste -salt bridge technique has been indispensable for the survey and reclamation of soil s of arid regions.

10-7. Needed apparatus includes a thermometer and salt bridge . A standard soil paste

salt bridge apparatus, consisting of an A.C potentiometer with standard Bureau of Soils hard rubber soil resistance cup is suitable. Also, a standard conductance meter ( 10-21) and separate soil resistance cup (Fig. 10-1) are suitable. The ohm resistance range needed is from about 10 to 10,000. The principles of resistance or conductance measurements are presented in 10-22.

10-8. Needed are distilled water, 1 per cent phenolp hthal indicator solution, and carefully collected and representative soils sample, the soluble salt content of which are to be determined.

10-9. The soil sample is sieved through 6-mm screen (0.25 inch) and thoroughly mixed on a rubberized sheet. Pebbles and large root fragments are discarded. The rubber resistance cup is filled about half full of distilled water (or somewhat less if the soil is rather moist, and somewhat more if the soil is dry and of very fine texture). The soil is added with stirring until the paste is wet enough to glisten on the surface, but thick enough so that no free water stands on the surface. The cup is tapped to remove air bubbles. the top of the soil is struck off to leave the cup just level full, and the cup (clean externally) is placed between the spring clips of the salt bridge. the soil water mixture may be made in a beaker and transferred to the cup. the mixture is equilibrated for a period of 20 minutes. 10-10. The knife switch of the salt bridge is set in the out position (the in position places an extra resistance of 100 ohms in series (with the soil cup). Then the coil resistance knob is turned to 10, the phone placed to the ear and the button depressed. An electronic eye replaces the buzzer in some bridges. If a buzzing is heard, the dial resistance knob is turned back and forth until the point of minimum sound is located. If such a position cannot be found, the coil resistance knob is turned to 100 and the dial resistance knob again turned back and forth to the position where the sound is the faintest. An adjustment of the soil resistance to the 1000 factor may be necessary to get a minimum with the knob. When the minimum point sound is found, the dial reading is observed and multiplied the setting of the coil resistance factor 10, 100, or 1000 as the case may be. the product is the ohms resistance in the cup. For example, if the dial reading is 1.45 and the coil resistance factor is 100, the cup resistance is 145 ohms. 10-11. soils containing large amount of soluble salts may have a resistance below the range of the dial. To obtain the resistance of these soils, the knife switch is thrown to the in position to throw

100 ohms in series with the soil cup, and the dial is adjusted to minimum sound. From the product obtained as in the preceding paragraph, 100 is subtracted. The 100 ohms resistance controlled by the knife switch is also used to test the bridge, and when in the in position should balance the 100 ohm bridge setting when the cup contacts are short circuited with a buss bar. 10-12. temperature correction. The temperature of the soil suspension is measured and corrected to 15.8 (60 ), which is the conventional temperature for soil paste resistance comparisons. Each represents a 2.49 per cent resistance change (1.38 per cent per degree centigrade away from 15.8

degree F away from 60 ). The resistance R corrections may be made by fairly tedious calculations from tables, or more conveniently (and with fewer arithmetical steps), by the formula, R15.8 table values from 0 to 33 = RT ( T 158 ) 0.0249 + RT 2 per cent of 5 per cent up to 40 . In which RT refers to observed resistance at T .the approximation is to within (32 to 92 ) and within

10-13. the spesific conductance of the soil paste is 0.25 R wherein 0.25 is the constant for the Bureau of soils cup, and R is the resistance the soil paste in ohms. The ratio of electrical conductance of the saturation extract (mmho/cm) to the electrical conductance of the soil paste in the standards cup was found to be 2.71 for some muck soils and city clay loam. 10-14. Interpretation of Resistance of Soil in Terms of Salt Content. the soil paste resistance values corrected to 15.8 (60 ) are interpreted in terms of salt content as percentage by weight of the soil, by means of the chloride and sulfate column of table 10-1. These data were based on average saline soil encountered in the field, for which the soluble salt contents were determined by extraction and weighing ( 10-17). The data of Davis and Bryan (Tables 10-1 and 10-2) agree well with those of Whitson and king. Salts content as parts per 100,000 (as they are sometimes expressed ) may be obtained by multiplying by 1000. A soil having a (?) content of less than 0.1 per cent is considered nonsaline except for the (?). a higher percentage rannging up to 0.3 per cent (?) the upper limit for nonsaline clay soils ( 10-42). The salt content of water or soil solutions may be estimated by the determination of the resistance when the soil cup is filled with it (Table 10-2).
TABLE 10-1 Approximate amounts of salts in soils of various textures with given electrical resistance of soil paste in standard soil cup* Percentage salts content of soils containing salts consisting Predominantly of chlorides and sulfates (?) In part of sodium carbonate (turn phenolpthalein pink)

Sand 18 19 20 25 30 35 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 120 140 160 180 200 240 300 380 3.0 2.4 2.2 1.5 1.2 1.0 0.86 0.67 0.55 0.48 0.42 0.37 0.33 0.27 0.22 0.20

Loam 3.0 2.6 2.4 1.7 1.3 1.1 0.94 0.71 0.58 0.50 0.44 0.39 0.35 0.28 0.23 0.20 .

Clay loam 3.0 2.8 1.9 1.4 1.2 1.0 0.77 0.63 0.53 0.47 0.41 0.37 0.29 0.24 0.21

clay 3.0 2.2 1.6 1.3 1.1 0.86 0.70 0.59 0.51 0.45 0.39 0.32 0.26 0.22

Sand 2.9 2.1 1.6 1.4 1.3 0.87 0.74 0.64 0.56 0.51 0.43 0.38 0.34 0.31 0.29 0.21

Loam 3.0 2.2 1.9 1.7 1.4 1.2 0.98 0.86 0.77 0.69 0.57 0.49 0.43 0.38 0.34 0.28 0.22

Clay Loam 3.0 2.2 1.9 1.7 1.4 1.2 1.0 0.90 0.82 0.75 0.64 0.55 0.49 0.44 0.40 0.34 0.28 0.20

Clay 3.0 2.6 2.3 1.9 1.6 1.4 1.2 1.1 0.97 0.79 0.66 0.56 0.49 0.43 0.33 0.29 0.20

TABLE 10-2 Approximate salt content of water with given resistances in standard soil cup * Resistance of water at 15.8 C (60 F), in ohms Salt content of water containing salts consisting Predominantly of chlorides and sulfates p.p.t 30 35 40 45 7.5 6.7 6.0 5.3 p.p.t 7.5 6.7 6.0 5.3 (?)

50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 110 120 130 140 150 160 170 180 190 200 220 240 260 280 300 340 380 400 450 500

4.6 4.0 3.6 3.1 2.7 2.3 2.1 2.0 1.95 1.88 1.81 1.70 1.60 1.50 1.41 1.32 1.24 1.16 1.09 1.02 0.96 0.87 0.79 0.71 0.65 0.59 0.50 0.44 0.41 0.35 0.31

4.6 4.3 4.0 3.8 3.6 3.4 3.2 3.0 2.9 2.8 2.6 2.5 2.3 2.1 2.0 1.87 1.76 1.65 1.54 1.44 1.38 1.22 1.10 1.00 0.90 0.83 0.71 0.60 0.55 0.46 0.38

550 600 700 800 1000 1500 2500

0.28 0.25 0.22 0.20 0.18 0.16 0.15

0.32 0.27 0.23 0.20 0.18 0.16 0.15

10-15. Davis and Bryan checked for the presence of Na 2 CO 3 by addition of drops of 1 per cent phenolphthalein solution to the soil or solution. If a pink color was obtained, indicating Ph 8.3 or above, the salts were in part sodium carbonate, and the corresponding columns in Tables 10-1 or 10-2 were used. In practice, the estimate of salt content based on the sulfate and chloride columns (Table 10-1) is better than from the carbonate columns for all soils, even of alkali soils above Ph 8.3. 10-16. Care of the Salt Bridge. The salt bridge is carefully protected from mechanical shock and kept clean. Particularly, the contact aret metals are kept clean, and free from grease. After use, the soil cup is washed, rinsed and dried. 10-17. Standardization. It is possible to standardize soil paste resistance in terms of the salts occurring under the particular field conditions. The salt content 10 or 12 representative soils is determined by the conductance of the saturation extract ( 10-27) or gravimetrically (10-75). The accuracy of the soil resistance method seldom justifies this refinement. For greater accuracy, the salt content is determined on the saturation extract of all samples (1027). DETERMINATION OF ELECTRICAL CONDUCTANCE OF SOIL SOLUTIONS A ND WATERS AS A MEASURE OF SALT CONTENT 10-18. A fairly quantitative estimate of the salt content of solutions extracted from soils or of natural waters can be made from their electrical conductance . Extracts of soils, particularly those made with high water to soil ratios, are a less accurate measure of the solute content of the soil itse lf bec ause more sa lts may be re move d tha n are e ve r pre se nt in the soil a t field moisture contents. Also, the ionic species extracted may be different from those present in the soil solution. For example, the amount of calcium and sulfate from a gypsum-bearing soil is about 5 times as much in a 1:5 extract as in a 1:1 extract. If CaCO 3 is present, HCO 3 - and Na + increase with dilution, the latter being

displaced by Ca++ dissolved from CaCO3. The content of Na+ may be twice as great in the 1:5 extract as ex tra ct; likew ise, the dissolve d Ca + + , SO 4 - - , a nd Na + are g rea te r in the 1:1 extract than in the soil saturation extract. To some extent, hydrolysis of the exchangeable sodium increases with the extent of dilution. Chloride and nitrate concentrations decrease more (?) by dilution of the suspension, an effect attributed adsorption (Donan distribution) or to bound water of the acting as a solvent. Increased quantities of sulfate extracted (?) diluted suspensions in one soil was attributed to anion (?) hydroxyl. 10-19. because the soil : water ratio influences the amount (?) of salts extracted, the soil ratio employed must be (?) with the analyses. Extraction of soil natural field moisture (?) gives the most accurate measure of soluble soil salts. (?) moisture saturation percentage ( 10-27) is related to soil (?) stants, and field moisture content at which the soil (?) may be employed to regulate the soil: water ratio for extraction. 10-20. definitions. Electrical resistance is defined by the equation : E = IR In which E is the electrical potential in volts, I is the current in ampere (?) R is the resistance in ohms. Electrical conductance, C, or conductivity (?) solution in mhos is the reciprocal of resistance, R, in ohms, C= For convenience, conductance is often expressed as millimhos (?). spe sific conductance, L, of a solution is the conductance (?) would be measured at 25 between electrodes 1 cm 2 in cross section (?) placed one cm apart, and may be visualized as the conductance (?) cm 3 , or mhos cm. spesific conductance may be measured with (?) various dimensions by means of a cell constant (10 -32). Because (?) numbers obtained expressing spesific conductance of soil solutions are (?) small, it has been found convenient to express spesific conductance (?) millimhos cm (1000 times mhos cm) and this unit has been (?) widely. Other units such as 10 mhos/cm, and micromhos/cm (?) have been employed (Table 10 -3)
TABL E 10-3 Various units whic h have been employed for electrical conductance of soil solutions and other waters Relative zise of unit Factor for calculation Example, L of moisture

saturation 1 10 - 3 10 - 5 10 - 6 1 10 - 3 10 - 5 10 - 6 mhos/cm mhos mhos mhos



moderately saline soil 0.006 mho/cm 6 millmhos/cm (adopted) 600 mhos 10 5 /cm * 6000 micromhos/cm

10-21. needed apparatus consists of an AC salt bridge or electrical (?) bridge. (Fig. 10-2 and 10-3), conductance cell (Fig.10-4) (?) platinum-blackened electrodes, a Buchner or special vacuum funel (?) a vacuum flask or desiccator, or suction pump (a centrifuge and tubes may be used) for separation of the soil extract, and a thermometer. 10-22. Principles of the Salt Bridge. In a salt bridge (a resistance or conductance bridge) 2 fixed resistances R 1 and R 2 and a variable resistance (?) are connected in a branched circuit with the conductance cell having resistance R x (Fig. 10-5). An AC potential is applied at C and D. an AC potential is employed to prevent electrolysis of the solution and polarization of th e electrodes in the conductance cell at R x . ordinarily a 1000 (?) source is used, but some bridge operate on a 60 -cycle power line source. As the frequency rises, capacitance effects become important and are compensated for with the variable condenser in p arallel with R 2 . The variable resistance R v is adjusted until theres is no current passing in the phone circuit from A to B, as indicated by a minimum sound or shift in the electric eye. Then A and B are at the same potential, and the voltage drop IR x (eq. 10-2), between BD must equal IR 2 , the voltage drop between AD : IR x = IR 2 Also IR v = IR 1 then division of equation 10-4 by 10-5 gives : = Whence : Rx = Rv

Since R1 and R2 are fixed, the dial on (?) can be calibrated to read, (?) resistance of the test sample.

Or, the dial on (?) can be calibrated to read 1/Rx, that is directly in conductance of the solution. REAGENTS 10-23. needed reagents consist of 0.02 M KCl (1.4912 gm of KCl per liter of solution), CO2 free distilled water and filter paper. 10-24. for purposes of the standardization work, salt such as (?) of NH 4NO3, KCl, and Ca(H2PO4)2 with an equal amount of (?) may be added to a slightly acid nonsaline soil and saline soils. (?) 10-25. the soil sample. For complete salinity analysis, soil samples (?) to a depth of 120 to 180 (4 to 6 feet). Sometimes the surface (?) greater salinity than the subsoil, and sometimes this situation is (?). the surface 5 cm, the next 5 to 30 cm and each succeeding 30 cm (?) sampled separately and analyzed for comparison to the troublesome (?). each sample of approximately 1-liter volume is placed in a (?) paper bag with label inside on a tag, as well as on the outside of the (?). wet samples are partially air-dried prior to shipment to the laboratory. The label is suplemented with data on location, soil description, area represented; depth to water table; source, quantity, and quality of water used (?); and crop variety grown and condition. 10-26. the soil sample may be either field moist or air-dry, but not (?). salt such as CaSO4 2H2O, CaCO3, NaCl, or fertilizer (?) may be added to various soil samples for standardization work. The soil is mixed by passage through a 2-mm sieve. Clay soils can more (?) be sived before they are completely air-dry. Stones and coarse (?) are discarded. 10-27. Moisture Saturation Extract of Soil. The soil saturation moisture content is defined as the maximum amount of water held in the puddled soil without free water collection in a depression made in the soil mass. The quantity of soil sample to be extracted depends on the soil texture (table 10-4) and the volume of the conductance cell to be employed. The approximate weight of soil to provide the needed filtrate volume is placed in a beaker. The first half or two-thirds of the water is added down the side disturbed during this process because water movement through puddled soil is very slow. Increments of water are added until the soil mass is fully (?) by capillarity. It is convenient to add increments of water to several succesive samples to be analyzed, time being allowed for full imbibition of one increment before more is added to each sample. The soil is then (?) with a spatula, and more water content. The water content is right when the soil barely flows toghether into a hole made with spatula, the mixture slides off the spatula, and the soil surface is wet enough to glisten. Free water does not collect in the depressions on the surface on standing a few minutes. If free
TABLE 10-4

Quantity of soil to be taken for each ml of saturation extract in relations to soil texture and moisture properties Soil texture Sand Sandy loam Silt loam Clay Peat Relative * Wilting percentage 1 4 10 25 35 1 Field percentage 2 8 20 50 70 2 capacity Moisture percentage 4 16 40 100 140 4 saturation ?

Water stands on the surface, too much water has been added, and a (?) more soil is added to blot up the excess. With a little practice, the (?) acteristic moisture saturation percentage can be reproduced. 10-28. for many purposes the percentage moisture at saturation (?) not be determined. It may be determined by oven-drying a sample, (?) may be estimated ( 10-44) 10-29. equilibartion time. For conductance measurements, the saturated soil is equilibrated for 10 minutes if gypsum is absent or for 2 hours if gypsum is present. If the extract is to be analyzed chemically for ionic composition ( 10-78), the moisture-saturated soil is equlibrated for (?) hours to permit ionic-exchange equilibrium to be attained ( 10-18) but no longer because of changes in composition that result from bacterial activity. 10-30. filtration. The soil is placed on a suitable size of Buchner funnel with tighly seated filter paper, and saturation extract filtrate is removed by suction. The soil saturation extract also may be obtained by the pressure membrane (10-47) or by centrifugation. A porous tube device has been employed for sampling soil solutions during water-spreading operations. 10-31. coloration of the extract by dissolved organic matter does not appreciably affect the conductance or chemical analysis, so may generally be ignored. Turbidity, on the other hand, may lead to an appreciable error in the chemical analysis. Turbid solutions may clear on standing, or may be cleared up by the passage through a Pasteur-Chamberland filter (10-53). 10-32. determination of cell constant. The cell constant, k, of a (?) cell is determined by measurements of the electrical conductance, (?) of a standard KCl solution, and use of the equation: k= in which : L : known specific electrical conductance of standard solution, usually 0.02 M KCl, mmhos cm C : conductance of the standard solution measured in the given cell, mmhos.

The specific conductance, L, of the 0.0200 M KCl is 2.39 mmhos/cm at (?) and 2.768 mmhos/cm at 25 . Various standard conductance solutions are available. The measured conductance, C, of a test solution ( 10-33), in millimhos, multiplied by the cell constant gives the spesific conductance, Lmmhos/cm, of the test solution : L = kC 10-33. determination of solution conductance. The conductance cell is (?) stored immersed in distilled water. The cell is usually rinsed (?) with the test solution, but if insufficient solution is at hand, the cell may be rinsed with and dried from acetone to prefent dilution of the exteact with water. The cell is filled with the test solution ( 10-30, 10-79) (?) the electrodes completely. The bridge is balanced and the reading is recorded as resistance or conductance (specify units, 10-20). The specific conductance as Lmmhos/cm is calculated (eq. 10-9). The (?) with its conventional cell reads directly in specific conductance (?) constant thus being needed. 10-34. the temperature of the solution is taken into account in the calculation of the result. Electrical conductance of a solutions increases approximately 2 per cent per degree C. temperature corrections may be (?) by use of a temperature bath at 25 , or approximately by use of a reference solution at the same temperature as the test solution. 10-35. the soil salinity scale. Soluble salts decrease the availability of the soil water by contributing osmotic pressure to the integrated soil moisture stress, and the latter decreases yields if it exceeds low values. As the soil moisture content is changed from wilting percentage to field capacity or saturation percentage, the salt present in the soil solutions (?) diluted. Converseiy, the salt become more concentrated in the soil solutions as the soil moisture is used up and the wilting percentage is (?) Greater salt damage to crops is often observed in hot summers, cooler summers, presumably because the wilting percentage is (?) smaller for (?) than for finer textured soils, a given absolute amount of salts per unit (?) of a sandy soil creates a greater concentration of salts in its soil solution (?) the wilting percentage than that same amounts of salts would create (?) finer textured soil ( 1042). For all soil textures, the concentration (?) in the soil solution at the wilting percentage to soil moisture constants (?). the saturation extract is thus an equipotential soil moisture content for various soils. The specific electrical conductance of the saturation extract, which is linearly related to osmotic pressure as well as concentration of salts in solution ( 10-37), can be interpreted directly (?) of plan growth, by means of the salinity scale. Although different plants vary in their tolerance to the presence of soluble salts the salinity scale is found applicable to plants classified into relatively (?)groups. Workers of long experience with saline soils tend to prefer electrical conductance units to

units of concentration of salts in solution. The relative conductance units of the salinity scale can be interpreted as readly as the relative numbers of the soil pH scale. 10-36. irrigation waters should range from 0.1 to 0.75 mmhos per cm or below. High salinity hazard is incurred in the use of irrigation water having conductance much above this range ( 10-80) 10-37. calculation of specific electrical conductance to salt concentration in solution. A linear relationship exists between the specific electrical conductance in a water extract of soils or irrigation water and the concentration of salts as found by analysis ( 10-78) and expressed as meq of anions (or cations) per liter solution, Meq of salt per liter = equiv. per million = 125 Lmmhos/cm The factor for the single salt solutions of NaCl, CaCl2, MgCl2, Na2SO4, CaSO4, MgSO4, and NaHCO3, according to data published in the international critical tables, ranges from 8 to 20.
TABLE 10-5 The Salinity Scale* Specific conductance of the saturation extract of soil, millimhos per cm. 0 Nonsaline Salinity effects mostly negligible. 2 Very slightly saline Yields of very sensitive crops may be restricted 4 Moderately saline Yield of many crops restricted. Alfafa, cotton, sugar beets, cereals, and grain sorghums adapted. 8 Strongly saline Only tolerant crops yield satisfactory. Bare spots appear because of injury to germination. 16 Very strongly saline Only a few very tolerant crops yield satisfactorily. Only salt tolerant grasses, herbaceous plants, shrubs, and trees grow. 0 0.1 0.3 0.5 1.0 Percentage of salts in moisture saturation extract

10-38. the effects of salts on plants is more closely related (?) equivalents of salts per million parts of solution ( 10-37) (?) metric weight units per million. However, the latter can be estimated (?) waters in the alkaline soil regions : ppm of salts = 640 Lmmho/cm % salts in solution = 0.064 Lmmho/cm % salts in soil = 0.064 Lmmho/cm Equivalents per million multiplied by the gm-equivalent weight gives (?) parts per million. Equation 10-11 involves the assumption of an (?) gm-equivalent weight of 51 for the various salt present. The (?) factor to percentage salts for highly fertilized soils of the humid region (?) approximately 0.1 (

10-51), or somewhat higher than 0.064, and (?) that the average equivalent weght is greater than 51. 10-39. Osmotic Pressure of Solutions. Specific conductance can be (?) verted to osmotic pressure: Osmotic pressure of solution, atm. = 0.36 Lmmho/cm The factor 0.36 applies well for NaCl and for solutions extracted from alkali and saline soils and should ba applicable to irrigation waters in (?) regions. The factor is 0.3 for common MX2 and M2X salts and 0.28 for MgSO4, and thus a factor about 0.3 would be expected for highly fertilized soils of the humid region. 10-40. the salt concentrations of the soil extract or water may be cheked by gravimetric determenition through evaporation ( 10-75). The anion and cation species in the solution may be determined ( 10-78). 10-41. the salt index of fertilizer may be estimated by electrical conductance :

Salt index =


10-42. Toxic Limit Percentage of Salt in Soil. The salt content of soil (?) as perecentage or ppm of the dry soil is not simply related to the (?) toxicity to plants grown there ( 10-35). For example, in 2 soils, 1 (?) sand and the other a clay, both with same salt content on the dry (?) weight basis, the salt concentration in the soil solution at the wilting percentage is about 0.1 as great as that of the clay soil . thus no (?) percentage of salts in soils can be given at which toxicity begins is all soils. If the moisture saturation percentage of the clay soil happened is be 100 per cent, the concentration of slats in the soil solution would be equal to that in the dry soil. Supposing L = 10 mmho/cm in the saturation extract, from equation 10-12 : % salts in soil = L 0.064 = 10 0.064 = 0.64 This value of 0.64 per cent is plotted as point A (Fig. 10-6) at a saturation extract conductance of 10 mmho/cm. A line drawn through point A from the origin is the locus of salt percentages for all values of specific conductance for soil having 100 per cent moisture saturation percentage. For a second soil, having a saturation moisture percentage of 80 per cent, the concentration of salts in the dry soil would be 80/100 of that in saturation extract from it, and for L = 10 mmho/cm in the saturation extract, from equation 10-13 : % salts in soil = = = 0.51

Which is plotted at point B (Fig. 10-6). The various lines show the relationship of salt content (of soils having stated saturation moisture percentages) to specific conductance of the saturation extract. Taking Scofields value of 4 mmho/cm as the upper limit of salinity that is harmless to plants (Table 10-5), the toxic limit percentage of soil salt is 0.35 per cent for a peat soil (Fig. 10-6), about 0.1 per cent for a silt loam, and about 0.05 per cent for a coarse loamy sand. Salt contents in soils en excess of these percentages would be harmful to some plants. Double these values may be taken as the toxic limit for more resistant plants (limit of moderate salinity, Table 10-5). 10-43. a fertile soil may contain 0.02 to 0.05 per cent (200 to 500 ppm) of soluble salts. A content of 0.1 per cent salts in a slit loam corresponds to 1000 ppm in the soil or 4000 ppm in the soil solution at the field moisture capacity of 25 per cent. For a silt loam soil, 1500 ppm in the soil is often found to be the maximum salt content for growth of soft-stemmed plants, and 2500 ppm of the soil is the maximum for growth of woody plants such as rose bushes.

10-44. Determination of Saturation Moisture Percentage. It is often desireable to determine the saturation moisture percentage. To do this, a small portion of the soil paste is removed, and the mosture content is determined by oven-drying. Alternatively, Wilcox has published a formula for the calculation of the saturation moisture percentage from the weight of a known volume of saturated soil paste, as follows : Saturation moisture percentage = 37.74 in which V is the volume in ml of the saturated paste, and W is its weight in gm. The density of water is taken as unity and that of the soil particles as 2.65. the formula is suitable for mineral soils but no for organic soils; the estimate was found to be 4 to 6 per cent low for those mineral soils that swell considerably. 10-45. Displacement of the Soil Solution. Water or other displacing liquid appears to replace the sorbed films of the soil solution, pushing it ahead through the column. The displacement method has been employed to study the effect of fertilizers on the concentrations of the soil solution and (?) soil conditions, and to study the solution phase of mixed fertilizers. (?) displacing liquids used include water, alcohol, acetone, and oil. The soil with the desired moisture content is passed over the opening (?). Quartz gravel or glass beads arev placed over the opening (?) the glass leaching tube or metal cylinder (inverted 1-liter glass bottle ? gently sloping neck and with bottom cut off, 1-23). A 5-mm layer of glass wool is next laid over the gravel or beads. The soil is then packed is threefourths fill the tube, with a wooden rod. Sandy soils or peats are (?) is firmly as possible at all

moisture contents, as there is little danger (?) making them impervious to the displacing liquid. The finer classes of (?) are packed more lightly and used at a moisture content somewhat (?) the field capacity to insure adequate rate of solution displacement. A (?) loam is best used at a moisture content of about 10 per cent, and when (?) packed has an apparent specific gravity of 1.50 to 1.60. 10-46. the leaching tube is suspended from a ring stand and 300 to 500 ml of water containing 0.5 per cent of KCNS is added. This solution displaces or pushes the soil solution ahead of it without rapid mixing of the 2 solutions, making it possible to get a portion of the actual soil solution (usually 20 to 50 per cent) before any of the dispalcing solution comes through. After about 20 per cent of the soil solutions has come through, the remainder is caught in successive 25-ml portions and a few drops are tested on aspot plate with 4 per cent FeCl3 solution. The first appear (?) of a pink or red color in this test indicates CNS ions of the displacing solution are coming through and collection of the solution is stopped. 10-47. Soil Solution Obtained with a Pressure Membrane. Extraction of the soil solution by means of the pressure membrane is slower and requires a larger soil sample than do water extracts, but has the advantage that the soil solution is obtained without dissolution of additional materials from the soil. The method serves well for more exacting studies and as a means to check the extent that the results are being affected by water extraction procedures. In the event that air-dried soil is to be examined, the soil first is sprayed with a fine mist of water while being rapidly turned in a can or on a rubberized mixing sheet. The soil is equilibrated with the water by storage at high humidity and constant temperature for a period of 2 weeks, with occasional mixing. The field moist, or moistened soil after storage, is packed by hand into the pressure membrane (?) depth of 5 to 10 or more cm. The cylinder is then closed, (?) process carried out at 15 kgm per cm2 (?). 10-48. The 1 : 1 Soil : Water Extraction of Soluble Salts. (?) consisting of 50 to 1500 gm of dry soils or its equivalent (?) is added to an equal weight of CO2 free water (the water ? included in this total) in a bottle of suitable size. (A small ? ployed if only conductance measurements are to be made.) (?) stoppered and shaken for a period of 2 hours, preferably in a (?)