Cultivation of potato, cabbage and carrot is still possible under moderately saline conditions
This means that millions of hectares of unexploited salt-affected farmland could potentially be cultivated successfully.
In an open-air lab on the island of Texel in the Netherlands the salt tolerance of 8 different crops and a total of 12 different varieties have been tested. The crops included in the research are carrot, onion, potato, cauliflower, kohlrabi, white cabbage, grasspea and Red orach or mountain spinach. The crops were among other things selected based on their global importance and their high nutritional value.
Throughout the growing season of 2018 the crops have been exposed to at least 6 different salinity levels and results indicate that in the salinity range of 5-7 dS/m, which is characterized as moderate, there are varieties of potato, carrot and cabbage that still show a 90% yield or a 10% yield reduction.
The report was made possible by the Interreg SalFar project and the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.