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Looking at tiling a portion of a field that has salinity issues. It still grows some crop, but is just very thin in those areas. Can tile bring the salts down enough To have good crop growth there. Will a dry year still bring those salts to the surface through capillary rise In our clay, and then I’m back to square 1? Or are there other ways to bring salts down in those areas short of putting grass/alfalfa there?
What kind of tile spacing should there be in heavy clay? diameter of tile pipe? Also what depth should that tile be at?
For those that have done this, would you do it again?
 

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One of our tiled halves is mostly red river with some Osborne clay. It is absolutely bringing salts down. The toughest thing about judging how fast it brings salts down is annual precipitation. Some of our earlier fields flushed salts very quickly where we would get lots of rainfall. The last few years there has been very few flushing rains. Without them, salts won’t drop, but I don’t think they would rise without water table pushing them back up.
I believe subsoil type makes a big difference in tile performance also.
 

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Not sure about your specific area, but seen it done here on 5 different fields that have enough salinity that the ground will turn white on top and only salt tolerant plants will grow. Tile has been in for 40 years and there is zero noticeable difference.

The tile does help the saline areas stay dryer so you can work them without getting stuck.
 

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You need to soil sample to see if you have saline or sodic soil. If there is too much sodium the tile probably won't help. If you are looking at seeding the area to a perennial make sure to look up ditch effect salinity.

 

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Has anyone had improvement with salt when using a subsoiler or just a waste of time and money
 

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Don’t know anything about salinity in soils but most pattern tile is put in at 60-90 foot spacing
 

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High clay soil may require tighter spacing. The smaller your soil texture is the more capillary action you get. I would recommend you talk to somebody from a university or extension or whatever the Canadian version is. Definitely want a second opinion from what a tile installer will tell you.

As far as subsoilers go it depends on what type of salts you have. Sodium disperses and plugs up your soil structure so any subsoiling will do nothing and probably be counter productive. On other salts you might see some benefit but you need to correct the first problem which is water use. You aren't using all the water so it is evaporating and leaving salt at or near the surface.

Long term and being realistic with your rainfall and the potential your soil and its position in the field has for salt might mean putting it in a perennial for a long time. You need to change management in those areas to something that starts making money again. Seeding/spraying through it then discing it so you can seed it and try again next year losing money all the way then paying property tax is a drain on the rest of your acres. Getting some hay off it or CRP and getting those acres back making money again might be all a guy can hope for. Tile is expensive and you need time and rain for it to work.
 
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