ISSUE 12 July 20, 2000
SALTY AREA EXPNSION IN WET YEARS
On June 19 and 20, the Fargo-Moorhead area was pounded with about seven inches of rain during an eight hour period. This affected many houses and apartments.
Another consequence of the heavy rains will be the expansion and
appearance of saline seeps later this season and continuing into next year. Around ponds,
a ring of salt will develop and retard or inhibit crop growth. At field edges near
ditches, or on hillsides, salts will also accumulate due to internal water movement in
these landscapes. There is no quick fix for these seeps. There is no amendment useful in
neutralizing these areas. Gypsum wont work because the most common salt
in these areas is gypsum. Some cultural practices, such as mowing down weeds instead of discing them in the summer, growing something on the field instead of fallow, and seeding a narrow strip (about 30 feet) of alfalfa along the roadsides to depress the local water table can help to reduce the incidence and severity of salt.
Dr. Dave Franzen
NDSU Extension Soil Specialist