University of California

Reclamation of a saline and high boron soil in the Coachella Valley of California


R. C. Reeve
A. F. Pillsbury
L. V. Wilcox

Authors Affiliations

R. C. Reeve was Agricultural Engineer, United States Salinity Laboratory, Riverside, California; A. F. Pillsbury was Professor of Irrigation, University of California at Los Angeles; L. V. Wilcox was Professor of Soil Scientist, United States Salinity Laboratory, Riverside, California, respectively.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 24(4):69-91. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v24n04p069. September 1955.

PDF of full article, Cite this article


With the expansion of irrigated agriculture throughout the world, much land now saline or alkaline must be reclaimed. Reported herein are the results of both flushing and leaching salts from a saline-alkali soil in the Coachella Valley of California’s Colorado Desert. The paper presents a quantitative evaluation of the effectiveness of removing a salt crust by flushing, and it compares the removal of the usual salts with the removal of a high concentration of boron.

Flushing as a reclamation procedure was found to be ineffective. Leaching was found to remove 80 per cent of the initially high salts with the application of one foot of water for each foot depth of soil considered. Equal leaching of boron required three times as much water.

Literature Cited

Bower C. A., Swarner L. R., Marsh A. W., Tileston F. M. The improvement of an alkali soil by treatment with manure and chemical amendments. Oregon Agr. Exp. Sta. Tech. Bul. 1951. p.22.

Burgess P. S. Alkali soil studies and methods of reclamation. Arizona Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 1928. 123:

Catlin C. N., Vinson A. E. Treatment of black alkali with gypsum. Arizona Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 1925. 102:

Eaton Frank M. Boron in soils and irrigation waters and its effect on plants, with particular reference to the San Joaquin Valley of California. U.S. Dept. Agr. Tech. Bul. 1935. 448:

Eaton F. M., McCallum R. D., Mayhugh M. S. Quality of irrigation waters of Hollister Area of California, with special reference to boron content and its effect on apricots and prunes. U.S. Dept. Agr. Tech. Bul. 1941. p.746.

Eaton F. M., Wilcox L. V. The behavior of boron in soils. U.S. Dept. Agr. Tech. Bul. 1939. p.696.

Fitts J. W., Lyons E. S., Rhoades H. F. Chemical treatment of “slick spots”. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. Proc. 1943. 8:432-36. DOI: 10.2136/sssaj1944.036159950008000C0089x [CrossRef]

Gardner R. Some soil properties related to the sodium salt problem in irrigated soils. U.S. Dept. Agr. Tech. Bul. 1945. p.902.

Harris F. S. Soil alkali, its origin, nature and treatment. 1920. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Hilgard E. W. Soils. 1907. New York: The Macmillan Co.

Huberty M. R., Pillsbury A. F., Sokoloff V. P. Hydrologic studies in the Coachella Valley, California 1948. California Agr. Exp. Sta. (Lithoprint.)

Kelley W. P. Alkali soils; their formation, properties and reclamation. 1951. New York: illus. Reinhold Pub. Corp. 176p.

Kelley W. P., Brown S. M. Boron in soils and irrigation waters of Southern California and its relation to citrus and walnut culture. Hilgardia. 1928. 3(16):445-58. DOI: 10.3733/hilg.v03n16p445 [CrossRef]

Kelley W. P., Thomas E. E. The reclamation of the Fresno type of black-alkali soils. California Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 1928. 455:1-38.

Kocher A. E., Harper W. G. Soil survey of the Coachella Valley, California. U.S. Dept. Agr. Bul. 1928. 16: series 1923

Reeve R. C., Allison L. E., Peterson D. F. Jr. Reclamation of saline-alkali soils by leaching 1948. Delta Area Utah. Utah Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 335

Scofield C. S., Wilcox L. V. Boron in irrigation waters. U.S. Dept. Agr. Tech. Bul. 1931. 264:

Snyder R. S., Kulp M. R., Baker G. O., Marr J. C. Alkali reclamation investigations 1940. Idaho Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 233

Thomas E. E. Reclamation of white-alkali soils in the Imperial Valley. California Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 1936. 601:1-16. https://archive.org/details/reclamationofwhi601thom

United States Department Agriculture. Diagnosis and improvement of saline and alkali soils. U.S. Dept. Agr. Handbook 60. 1954. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.

Wursten J. L., Powers W. L. Reclamation of virgin black-alkali soils. American Soc. Agron. Jour. 1934. 26:752-62. DOI: 10.2134/agronj1934.00021962002600090009x [CrossRef]

Reeve R, Pillsbury A, Wilcox L. 1955. Reclamation of a saline and high boron soil in the Coachella Valley of California. Hilgardia 24(4):69-91. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v24n04p069
Webmaster Email: wsuckow@ucanr.edu