Photo saline soil (MSU)
Estimating soil salinity, EC
Soil salinity, EC
Soil salinity relates to amount of salt in the soil. The elements typically responsible include sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride. If Sodium is greater than 15% of the cations, the soil is termed sodic and problems of soil structure can be expected.
Problem & Potential symptoms
High pH Nutrient deficiencies manifesting as stunted, yellow plants, or dark green to purplish plants. Link
Saline soil White crust on soil surface. Water stressed plants. Leaf tip burn.
Saline irrigation water Leaf burn. Poor growth. Moisture stress.
Sodic soil Poor drainage. Black powdery residue on soil surface. pH>8.5
Saline-sodic soil Generally, same symptoms as saline soil.
EC = Electrical conductivity (dS/cm);
ESP = Exchangeable Sodium Percentage
Water (EC as dS/m)
Source: Colorado State Extension Link with a good summary of water quality issues