Boron Concentration in Irrigation Water Used for Wheat-Cotton Cropping System in Alkaline Calcareous Soils of Southern Punjab
Abid Niaz 1*, Sadia Sultana 1, Abdul Majeed 1, Ana Aslam 1, Adbul Wakeel 1, Ehsan-ul-Haq 1, Muhammad Aftab 1, Farah Rasheed 1, Atif Muhmood 1, Asifa Naz 1, Amina Kalsoom 1, Atta M. Ranjha 2, Rehmat Ullah 2, Nisar Ahmed 2
1 Institute of Soil Chemistry and Environmental Sciences, Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad, Pakistan
2 Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan
Boron (B) is an essential plant nutrient, but in Pakistan, farmers don't have awareness about this important microelement. Global research showed that B exists in substantial amounts in irrigation water (both surface and ground water). This study was planned to assess the boron content in canal and tube well irrigation water directly used for wheat and cotton crops in southern areas of Punjab, Pakistan. Total 109 surface water samples were collected from different canals and their distributaries during winter (December-January) and summer (July-August) months and were analyzed for pH, electrical conductivity (EC), total soluble salts (TSS) and B concentration. The results indicated that B concentration ranged from traces to 0.42 mg/L with a mean value of 0.11 mg/L during winter season while pH and EC varied from 6.89 to 8.10 and 0.10 to 1.87 dS/m, respectively. However, higher B concentration was noted in canal water samples collected during monsoon season and it ranged from 0.01 to 0.63 mg/L with an average value of 0.17 mg B/L The B content in 112 tube well water samples ranged from traces to 1.29 mg/L and the average EC, pH and B of tube well water samples were 2.45 dS/m, 7.62 and 0.26 mg B/L, respectively. These results revealed that tube well water samples had obviously more B concentration then canal water samples. This study concluded that both canal and tube well water irrigation sources used for wheat-cotton production under alkaline calcareous soils of southern Punjab contained substantial amounts of B and these irrigation waters fulfill the B requirements of both crops.