Environmental chemistry of selenium
AuthorRichard G. Burau
Author AffiliationsRichard G. Burau is Professor, Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources, University of California, Davis.
Hilgardia 39(7):16-18. DOI:10.3733/ca.v039n07p16. July 1985.
The drainage of agricultural wastewater from the rich San Joaquin Valley — a problem that has vexed farmers, scientists, and politicians for many years — reached a climax early this year, when a halt was ordered in the delivery of federal irrigation water to 42,000 acres of land in the Westlands area of the Valley. Behind this action was the detection of high levels of selenium in Kesterson Reservoir, terminus for the 80-mile-long San Luis Drain, which carries saline wastewater from the Westlands Irrigation District to Kesterson. Built in 1971, the 12 shallow evaporation ponds at Kesteron supported a variety of fish and wildlife. Mortalities and deformities attributed to accumulated selenium attracted national attention.
In this article, Dr. Richard Burau, Professor of Soil Chemistry in the Department of Land, Air, and Water at UC Davis, reviews what is known about selenium and how it enters the food chain.
Also in this issue:Regenerative agriculture must be profitable
Biological control of fiddleneck
Beneficials and insecticides in citrus thrips management
Planning ahead for leafminer control
Fuchsia gall mite management
Response to incentive pay among vineyard workers
Fungicides for control of powdery mildew of melons
Seed extract shows promise in leafminer control
Polyester covers protect vegetables from whiteflies and virus disease
The boll weevil may be spreading
Canola meal can replace cottonseed meal in dairy diets
Viruses cause heavy melon losses in desert valleys
Cabbage yield and nutrient uptake
Publications of interest
Development of young pear trees with different rootstocks in relation to psylla infestation, pear decline, and leaf curl