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Magnetically Treated Brackish Water New Approach for Mitigation Salinity Stress on Sunflower Productivity and Soil Properties under South Sinai Region, Egypt

Mahmoud H. Mahmoud, Sahar M. Ismail; Amany A. Abd El-Monem and Mohamed A. Darwish

Application of low quality irrigation water is compulsive in facing water scarcity. Magnetized water is an attractive approach to overcome this challenge as considered eco-friendly physical pretreatment of brackish water.  The objectives of this study are to: i) Investigate and compare the effect of two different magnetic intensities for treating brackish water to alleviate water and soil salinity stresses on sunflower growth, yield production under constructed gated pipe and drip irrigation systems, and ii) Determine the changes in soil properties due to the application the magnetically treated brackish water in Ras-Sedr, South Sinai Governorate. The study was conducted at the Agricultural Experimental Station of Desert Research Centre, Research Station of Ras-Sedr region, Egypt. Two magnetized-brackish water (BW1; with magnet gauss strength of 1200 and BW2; with magnet gauss strength of 3850) and untreated brackish water were applied under gated pipe and drip irrigation systems. The two tested factors were laid out in split-plot design with three replications where the two irrigation systems and the three irrigation water-treatments were allocated in main and sub-plots, respectively. The results showed that concentration of soil soluble cations (Ca2+, Mg2+, K+ and Na+) and anions (Cl-, HCO3- and SO42-) at soil depths of 0–30, 30–60 cm was decreased when the soil treated by magnetized water compared to control and more decreasing occurred with higher magnetic strength. Also, the results showed that, the soil concentrations of  available N, P, K as well as CEC, SAR, CaCO3, bulk density and available micro-element contents in the magnetized-water treated soil were lower than those with non-magnetized irrigation water treatment at the two depths. Soil surface samples were investigated using Energy Dispersive X-ray spectral (EDX (and Scan electron microscope (SEM) images and specific surface area (SSA) analysis to identify the particular elements and their relation proportion for soil aggregations. Magnetized water treated-soil gave higher soil aggregations than control. Irrigation of sunflower plants with magnetically treated brackish-water under gated or drip irrigation systems led to improved Chlorophyll concentrations, accumulated dry matter in plant organs and macro-element contents in leaves at 60 DAS. The changes of dry weight in stem and leaf and plant height were significant (LSD0.05). Seed and oil yield (%) also were improved significantly compared to the irrigation with BW under both irrigation systems. Average N, K and Ca contents in sunflower leaves increased with magnetized-BW2 treatment under the both irrigation systems compared to those in BW1 and control treatments. Plant height and plant seed and oil yields were significantly increased with both magnetized water treatments. It can be conclude that the irrigation with magnetized water could be a promising technique in the agriculture with soil and water under salt stress conditions using gated pipe or drip irrigation systems.

Key words: Magnetized water, brackish water, drip irrigation, gated irrigation, sunflower, soil  characteristics, Ras-Sidr, seed and oil production.