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Reclamation of acid and saline soil in the South


       "The South" is a part of Thailand where there a lot of natural resources. As a result, most people think of this part as the prosperous economic source.
Actually, some people are rich but others are still poor.
From the survey conducted by Soil Survey and Classification Division, Land Development Department , there are 1 million rai of acid and saline soil area in the south. (Total area is 43.8 million rai) Farmers have a problem of rice prodution : only 200-400 liters/rai

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       Some area could not be planted, especially in Pattani, Phattalung, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Songkhla and Satun. Peple are poor and have planting area only 10 rai/family. Because of geographical features of the South where there are most upland and mountains and less plain lowland for growing rice, farmers can not increase their rice production by increasing planting area.

Acid soil area could not be used as planting since :
       1. In acid sulfate soil area, plant nutrients are changed into the form that plants can not
       2. The level of toxic minerals melt in acid soil is high. As a result , plant can not grow
           and crops yield decreases.
       3. Acid soil texture is sticky and dense. It is hard for water and air ventilation and soil
       4. In acid sulfate soil, microbs can not grow and do microbial activity useful to soil.
       5. There are low levels of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Calcium and Magnesium essential for
           plant growth.

Acid soil features and reclamation 
       In acid soil area, water in the pond is clear as being swung by alum and its taste is sour. Dig the soil 50-150 cm. and find yellow substance spread in soil texture. Some plants like reed and Eugenia usually grow in acid soil area.

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       Acid soil can be improved by scattering slaked lime or limestone in acid soil area 2-3
       ton/rai and incorporating soil before planting.

Varieties of rice suitable for growing in acid soil area in the South suggested by Department of Agriculture
Varieties of rice suitable for growing in saline soil in the South

Kaodang             Alhamdooleellah            Kaolookdang

Danger of Salinity to plant 

       1. To decrease drawing ratio of plant. Plant lacks water, grow slowly and my be died.
       2. Some minerals consist of much Sodium, Boron, Chloride or Bicarbonate which are
           dangerous to plant.
       3. To destroy soil structure and water can be absorbed slowly.

Saline soil features and reclamation 

       Saline is found in area where is sometimes flooded. Plants like Myrsinaceae, mountain ebony and Sonneration are found in this area.To reclaim saline soil, farmers have to build/water control system to prevent paddy-field from the sea. Leach salinity from soil with rainwater and moisture and improve soil properties.
       Such reclamation is suitable for saline soil area where is the paddy-field. But for saline soil in mangrove forest area, it should be conserved as a place to keep aquatic animals like fish, shrimp, shell and crab.

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Farmers can ask for help
       Farmers who have acid and saline soil area can consult the village
committee, developer for further help from acid and saline soil development

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