A Case Study on the Salinity Problems of Temora, NSW
Isolated outbreaks of dry land salinity have begun to occur on farms in Southern NSW. Strategies to quantify and lower the damage of dry land salinity are reported for a case study in Temora. An electromagnetic survey (The Electromagnetic Method measures earth's response to electromagnetic signals transmitted by an induction coil. The induction coil produces magnetic field alternating at various frequency. The alternating magnetic field induces electric current in the material under the ground, which in turn produces secondary magnetic field. The electromagnetic sensor measures intensity of this magnetic field. Response to high-frequency signal comes from shallow part of the ground, while deeper part of the earth responds to low-frequency signal.) Revealed that a saline scald of about 0.4 hectares was associated with a further 20 hectares of high subsoil salinity. Crop production losses which had attributed to salinity in 1999 were 100 per cent with the scald, but decreased 30 per cent near the scald.
Lucerne (a flowering plant in the pea family cultivated as important forage for crops) Established in 100 hectares around the scald lowered the water table in one year, and the rain leached surface salt into the subsoil so that in 2000 crops grew in areas where they failed in the previous year. In the winter of 2000, the water table rose under the scald but not under the surrounding lucerne, indicating that control of recharge from higher in the catchment is needed to reduce discharge in addition to reduction of the local water table.
The area of dry land salinity in New South Wales is predicted to increase by 60 within 50 years, affecting both mixed-farming (300-600 mm annual rainfall) as well as permanent pasture regions 0ver 600mm. The reports also propose that there is little or nothing that ‘conventional’ agriculture can do to prevent the spread of salinity and much of the agricultural...
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