ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 59 Number 2
Aspects of the management of salinity of swelling clay soils in Jamaica
Management practices currently recommended for the control of salinity on two major irrigated heavy clay soils, of very low hydraulic conductivity in the semi-arid southern coastal plains of Jamaica are reviewed. Sugar-cane is almost exclusively grown. The main policies governing recommended practices of salinity management are leaching of accumulated salts from the soil profile by storm rains, land-forming and landshaping, improved soil physical condition, conscious irrigation management and the use of salt-tolerant varieties. The clay soils, Agualta clay and Sydenham clay, have become salinized appreciably over the last 15 years, averaging 1.5-2.0% per year. Irrigation water quality (salinity) and quantity have also markedly declined. These conditions, aggravated by a succession of low rainfall years, have been accompanied by depressed yields.
Keywords: Clay soils; Salinity; Irrigation; Sugar-cane