Potential Use of Red Sea Water for Irrigation of Some Food and Pasture Crops

Yousif El Gorashi Elmahi, El Hadi El Daw Mohamed El Tom


An experiment was carried out for two seasons: a cool and a
warm season to study the potential of utilizing Red Sea water mixed with
fresh-water for irrigating some crops. A pot experiment was set up in a
split plot design in the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Khartoum to
study the effect of different seawater: fresh-water ratios ranging between
1:1 and 1:8 and having EC ranging between 6.5 to 28.7 dSm-1 on the
growth and yield of barley (Hordeum vulgare) purslane (Portulaca
oleraceae) and bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), and on some relevant
properties of the soils (pH,ECe, Na,Ca and Mg ) on which these crops
were grown. Two Torrifluvent soils: a loamy sand and a sandy soil were
used as the growth medium.
It has been found that purslane and the cool season barley could be grown
satisfactorily at 1:1 sea: fresh-water ratios (EC = 28.7 dSm-1), whereas the
warm season barley and bermuda can tolerate only up to 1:2 (EC = 19.7
dSm-1) and 2:7 (EC = 13 dSm-1) ratios, respectively. High sodium and
chloride in the irrigation water drastically reduced the uptake of Ca and
increased the uptake of Na and Cl by purslane. ECe and SAR of the two soils increased significantly (P = 0.05) with increase in irrigation water
salinity especially in the warm season, while the pH remained practically


Sea water; tolerance; Fodder; Food crops.

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