Home' Grower : March 2011 Contents The South Australian Grower -- March 2011
requires an understanding of a
number of issues that will be cov-
ered in the series of articles on
"Managing Root Zone Salinity in
The principle author of this
series of articles is Dr. Jeanette
Chapman, formerly consultant
with Rural Solutions SA and now
working for the Environmental
Domenic Cavallaro, Agronomist
with Stoller Australia; Anthony
Fox, Senior Land management
Adviser with Adelaide and Mount
Lofty Ranges Natural Resources
Management Board and Phil
Barnett, Principle Consultant
with Australian Perry Agricultural
*Anthony Fox is senior land manage-
ment adviser, Adelaide and Mount Lofty
Ranges, Natural Resources Management
Board, and Jeanette Chapman is com-
pliance office for the Environmental
Details: 08 8523 7718
Salinity and Its Measurement
Salinity is the presence of soluble salts in water and soil. Many common cleaning products and fertilisers are
mixtures of salts.
The component salts are called solutes, which means dissolved in water. The names and symbols of
common solutes and salts are listed below.
Sodium chloride (table salt)
Calcium sulphate (gypsum)
Calcium carbonate (lime)
Magnesium carbonate (dolomite)
Table 1: Names and symbols of common solutes and salts.
Since solutes have a charge, salinity can be measured by how well the solution can conduct an electrical cur-
rent. If the solution contains more dissolved salt it will conduct a stronger current which leads to a higher
reading. Portable, pocket sized electrical conductivity or EC meters such as the one pictured can be readily
purchased. Salinity meters use many different units however one standard is used internationally:
deci-Siemens per metre or dS/m
Figure 4: Almond growers at a field site on the NAP learning about
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"just as good"
nothing is at all "like it".
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