Considerable area of land is becoming unproductive every year because of salinity and sodicity in lowlands of Ethiopia. For sound land use and irrigation water management, it is a paramount important to know the chemical composition of soils and irrigation water. Therefore, the study was aimed to evaluate the physicochemical properties of soils and irrigation water of Tendaho sugarcane production farm, located in north-eastern rift valley of Ethiopia. Depth wise soil samples from 4 different locations and 1 irrigation water sample from 2 sub-samples (from delivery head and the influent river) were collected. The result of the particle size analysis indicates that majority of the soils were heavily textured. The pH of the soil in all parts of the study area ranged from 7.8 to 8.6. Electrical conductivity readings of most of the studied soil profiles were high. Exchangeable sodium percentage values showed actual sodium toxicity problem (ESP>15) in the first profile and potential sodium toxicity (ESP>1) in the remaining profiles. On the other hand, the irrigation water has a low sodicity hazard; however, pH (7.65) and EC (0.654 dS/m) values clearly indicated that it is moderately alkaline and saline. Hence, coupled with water and soil analysis results, there will be a potential danger of sodicity and actual salinity development in the intended irrigation scheme. Thus, selection of crop type and proper irrigation methods should be designed for sustainability of soil productivity in the study area.
Key words: Salt affected soil, irrigation water, characterization and classification, sugarcane production.
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