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Companion crops key to establishing saline-tolerant forages in saline soils

Soil salinity is an issue in many areas of Western Canada and seeding annual crops in these areas is often less economical due to limited crop production.

Working with USask forage breeder Dr. Bill Biligetu (PhD), graduate student Alex Waldner is studying the effectiveness of using companion crops to help establish saline-tolerant forages in saline soils.

“By evaluating establishment methods and forage mixtures we can determine methods to successfully seed forages in saline soils; and by assessing economic returns and ecological benefits we can provide reasons to convert saline soils to perennial forages,” said Waldner, a master’s student in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources.

A common challenge with establishing forages though is weed control, as forages in the seedling stage aren’t competitive against weeds.

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