In low rainfall environments like much of the Western US, salinity is an issue that must always be of concern. We will discuss the sources of salinity, the different types and some management practices that can improve or exacerbate the effects of salinity.
About Ben Faber: I frequently ask myself who, how and why I am serving. Some days I feel like a traveling salesman, day laborer, a truck driver, a school teacher, a scientist, a bureaucrat, a psychologist, a paper pusher, a Lone Ranger, a team player, an orator, a writer, a – you get the idea. No one day is exactly like another when you are a farm advisor (notice we spell it with an “or”, not an “er”, just to be different), and I find myself playing very different roles from day to day. Being an academic with the University of California affords that rare opportunity called academic freedom – freedom to do what we find interesting and potentially profitable to society, individuals, and the environment. This freedom, though, comes with the expectations that we will maintain high academic standards, such as publish research that is recognized by our peers. Peer-recognition does not seem too important when I have just been able to solve a grower’s irrigation problem, just hauled 800 pounds of sulfur 150 miles to start a research project, or just taught a 4-H course in soils. It really only adds to the schizophrenia. My position description is for soil (that’s where most plants grow), water (that’s what most plants need), and subtropical horticulture (avocadoes, citrus, cherimoya, feijoa, etc.), so it basically means I need to define what I am going to work on, otherwise I would be working on everything.