Dave: Try Bermuda grass. We have successfully started it from seed
irrigating with 17 dS/m water at Westlake Farms in the San Jaoquin Valley.
I grew well this past summer -- but we have no idea what the ET was. Likely
it was less than that for bermuda grass irrigated with a nonsaline water.
Dr. Shannon tells me that the ET of paspalum vaginatum, distichulis, and
bermuda grass grown in captivity at the Salinity Laboratory, in sand tanks
irriated with waters as saline as 60 dS/m, had nominal ET until growth was
affected at about 30 - 40 dS/m.
Do I have your address: I can send you a paper which we (Oster, Kaffka,
Shannon and Grattan) have just finished and will be published in the Proc.
of the Int. ICID Conference, Granada Spain, 1999. It's title is
Saline-sodic drainage water: a resource for forage production. At 10:37 AM
2/21/99 -0800, you wrote:
>As you're finding out, there hasn't been a lot of halophyte ET work. The
>person who has done much of it is Edward Glenn of Univ. of Arizona and I
>suggest you talk to him. If you don't have these references I suggest you
>get 2 recent papers of his, et al:
>"Water requirements for cultivation of Salicornia bigelovii Torr. with
>seawater on sand in a coastal desert environment" Journal of Arid
>Environments (1997) 36: 711-730
>"Water use, productivity and forage quality of the halophyte Atriplex
>nummularia grown on saline waste water in a desert environment" Journal of
>Arid Environments (1998) 38: 45-62
>We are beginning to measure halophyte ET here in the San Joaquin Valley
>and, like Glenn, are finding that adequately watered salicornia consumes
>water at rates similar to non-halophytes, and distichlis a little less. We
>begin more extensive testing this year.
>As a first stab at it I would suggest simply using reference ET times %
>We have worked with a number of different halophytes and the most versatile
>in its ability to thrive under a wide range of soil and water conditions is
>distichlis. However, its value as a forage is questionable. I would suggest
>trying a variety of species.
>Your idea of having storage is a good one and will give you more flexibility.
>There are a lot of potential forage crops you could grow with your level of
>salinity and it sounds like you're aware of them. You may be interested in
>considering mesquite. If you search the web you'll find some interesting
>sites regarding mesquite products.
>Douglas W. Peters
>Dept. of Land, Air & Water Resources
>U.C. West Side Research & Extension Center
>17353 W. Oakland Ave.
>PO Box 158
>Five Points, CA 93624
>(559) 884-2216 fax
>[log in to unmask]
J.D. Oster, Soil and Water Specialist and Adjunct Professor,
Winter/Spring Office: Department of Env. Sci.,
University of California, Riverside, CA 92521. 909-787-5100
Summer/Fall Office: 32 Wishram Tr., Graeagle Ca.
P.O. Box 1344, Graeagle, Ca. 96103. 530-836-1835
Webpage: http://esce.ucr.edu - home of Soil Physical
e-mail: [log in to unmask]