Assessing the ability of fodder beet (Beta vulgaris L. ʽBrigadierʼ) to absorb sodium from a soil irrigated with sodium-enriched water
AbstractA pot experiment was carried out to determine the sodium (Na) absorption ability of halophytic fodder beet (Beta vulgaris L. ʽBrigadierʼ) irrigated with water enriched to Na levels found in winery wastewater. Treatments comprised (1) soil without plants irrigated with untreated water or (2) Na-enriched water, and (3) fodder beet irrigated with untreated water or (4) Na-enriched water. Irrigation with Na-enriched water did not affect fresh or dry matter production of fodder beet compared to irrigation with untreated water. Fodder beet absorbed 38% of the Na applied through the irrigation water compared to soil without plants. Since the bulk of the plant can be harvested for fodder, Na will be removed more effectively compared to crops where roots remain in the soil. Therefore, this halophyte holds promise as an interception crop to reduce Na accumulation where winery wastewater is used for irrigation.
Keywords: ECe, ESP, nutrient absorption, pH(KCl), sandy soil
South African Journal of Plant and Soil 2014, 31(2): 113–116