University of Wyoming Extension News

UW Extension bulletin shows how to reclaim salt or sodium soils

Taking soil samples

How to reclaim salt- and sodium-affected soils is described in a new publication from the University of Wyoming Extension.

The publication, B-1231, is part of a series by extension and the Wyoming Reclamation and Restoration Center (WRRC) at the University of Wyoming describing how to successfully restore severely disturbed lands.

The bulletin describes saline and sodic soils, identifies how to prevent salt problems during reclamation and describes remediation with organic and chemical amendments.

“Reclaiming severely disturbed soils with elevated levels of salt, sodium or both is difficult,” state authors Jay Norton, extension soils specialist, and Calvin Strom, a research associate in the WRRC. “Undisturbed topsoil is often less than 3 inches thick, but soil salvage operations usually scrape soils to a standard 6-inch depth. This mixes surface soil material with material from deeper in the soil profile that may contain higher salt and/or sodium levels or other toxic materials that inhibit plant growth.”

The publication is available online. Go to and click on Publications on the left-hand side.  Click search bulletins and type B-1231 in the Publication Number field.

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