• 55°

Salt causing area soybean problems

VIDALIA — Soybean crops around Concordia Parish are starting to show signs of struggle, as salts in the irrigation water are making it hard for them to grow.

Associate professor and extension specialist of soil fertility and nutrient management J. Stevens said this problem did not happen overnight.

“This problem is something that we have seen become larger over the past few decades,” he said.

Glen Daniels, LSU AgCenter county agent in Concordia Parish said the levels of salts in the water this year are the highest he has ever seen.

“I’ve been here for 30 years, and this is the worst I have ever seen the salt levels,” Daniels said. “This is a tremendous problem, scattered throughout the area.”

Stevens said around the area the clay-textured soil is also playing a part in the problem.

“Clay-textured soil has a large accumulation of salts in the root zone,” Stevens said. “There is no good drainage for the salt to be pushed out, causing it to accumulate in the plant.”

Daniels said there is an aquifer in Mississippi that pumps water to the crops. This pump is where a lot of the salt is coming from.

“Everybody has been pumping water out of this aquifer for their crops,” he said. “Water with higher salt levels in it is pumping out because salt sinks to the bottom, and the aquifer is getting lower with time.”

Daniels said salt in the water does not just affect soybeans.

“Soybeans and rice rotate being planted in the area,” he said. “The water problem will also hurt rice crops in the winter time.”

With local farmers staring at a possibly damaging financial situation, Daniels said they are working on ways to help solve this problem.

“Right now we are testing new varieties of soybeans and rice,” he said. “The crops we are testing are resistant to salt.”

Daniels said they would be testing these varieties for three years with no irrigation, using only rainwater.

“So far, all but one have shown resistance,” he said.

He also said there is something the farmers can do to help stop the problem.

“Do not pump the well water to your crops,” Daniels said.

Stevens said for farmers to try flushing the salt out of their crops if they can.

“Get some good quality water, and pump it to your crops to push the salts out your root zone,” Stevens said. “This should help the crops grow better.”

News

Supervisors approve contract for new engineering firm

COVID-19

State reports new COVID-19 cases, deaths

News

Adams County seeks study for new fire stations

News

Jackson State band to perform in Biden inauguration event

COVID-19

Bailey appointed interim tax collector until November special election

News

Supervisors reappoint Phillip West to Natchez school board

News

Harbor Freight showing job listings for new Natchez location

COVID-19

Coroner: Two more people died with COVID-19 Sunday at Merit Health Natchez

News

CPSO deputy finds his dog shot in his backyard

News

Missing teen found

News

Former Natchez Mayor Butch Brown off of ventilator in Jackson ICU

COVID-19

State reports 1,606 new COVID cases and 40 new COVID related deaths

News

Natchez native pens third installment of murder series

News

Photo Gallery: ACCS student celebrates birthday with drive-thru party

COVID-19

State reports 2,680 new COVID-19 cases, 70 new COVID related deaths

News

Wreck on St. Catherine Street takes out pole

News

Merit Health nurse of 23 years dies with COVID-19 complications

News

Girl Scout cookie time is here for Adams County

News

Brookhaven woman linked to over 15 ounces meth arrested in Adams County

News

Concordia Parish deputies uncover 14 stolen firearms after traffic stop

COVID-19

State reports 1,948 new COVID-19 cases, 41 new deaths amid vaccine shortage

COVID-19

State experiencing surge in patients attempting COVID-19 vaccination

News

Movie filmed in Natchez hits screens Feb. 12

News

Three finalists chosen for Executive Director in Natchez tourism commission