Dr. Melida Gutierrez recently published an article on salt content of dairy farms.
Her publication, “Salt content of dairy farm effluents as an indicator of salinization risk to soils,” is step one in a process to discover a salt balance at the watershed level.
She and her collaborators look at salinity and amount of dairy farm wastewater to estimate the amount of salt added to soils. The wastewater is used to irrigate fields.
Finding a salt balance is vital for good soil.
“An excess of salts can make soils unproductive,” Gutierrez said. “Soil salinization is especially critical in productive arid areas worldwide.”
Gutierrez conducted much of the research in Mexico. Though her and her colleagues faced challenges, she thinks it made the research that more fun.
“The most fun was the collaboration with Mexican colleagues,” Gutierrez said. “We had to think outside the box to get results in spite of limited instrumentation, materials, access to dairy farms to obtain measurements and other resources to conduct research.”