two technicians doing in-field salinity measurement


When doing soil salinity measurements, some things to keep in mind are:

  • Sampling scheme and methodology
  • Choice of in-field or laboratory measurement
  • When reporting results, be sure to include the soil:water ratio used

two technicians doing in-field salinity measurement
Soil technicians doing an in-field measurement for soil salinity. Photo by Tim McCabe, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.


There are no calculations required as the results are directly read from the electrical conductivity meter. The SI units are decisiemens per meter (dS/m). The following units are equivalent:

1 (Ω.m)-1 = 1 S/m = 10 dS/m = 1 mho/m = 10 mmho/cm

If the EC of a saturated paste extract is greater than 4 dS/m the soil is considered saline and could interfere with plant growth. Some salt sensitive plants may be adversely affected by salt content of 2 dS/m.

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