Visit to SPNA’s test field on clay soil

24 June 2021 - Published by Laila Dam
In the March 2021 newsletter, we presented the newly installed test field in the Northern Netherlands, including under-soil irrigation tubes, a monitoring system, and a mixing station where various concentrations of fresh and saltwater can be mixed to water the fields according to the research plan.

The field experiments started with the sowing of winter wheat, furthermore, in April/May, onions and seed potatoes were sown and planted. These crops have grown now under various field conditions to determine the effects of the simulated saltwater-pressure from the under-soil irrigation tubes. Fresh and saltwater pressure can be compared. Rowan Schreijer, student of Applied Biology at the Aeres University of Applied Sciences in Almere, started his research on winter wheat in February as intern of SPNA. For his bachelor thesis, Rowan compares the vegetative growth differences of winter wheat on saline versus regular clay soil.

He presented some first results on 9 June for a small audience, so this was the chance for the project leader Angelica Kaus to visit the test field and to get a glimpse of the latest research results.

In this research, Rowan has used a completely randomized block design, in which he has created four blocks in both the regular and the saline soil. This principle was applied to two experimental fields, whereby one field was ploughed, and the other one was not. In each block, Rowan keeps track of the vegetative growth of three selected plants. Parameters such as leaf area, plant length, root growth, state, and plant damage are being monitored. At the end of his study, Rowan will let us know more results under the title of his script “The influence of salinization and ploughing on vegetative growth of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum ‘Extase’)”.