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Like Cures Like

Is there a cure? Scientists say there is. The cure is salt itself, but calcium salt – the widely known gypsum. It easily reacts with sodium, changing it into compounds that are harmless to plants. Like cures like, as they say. This method is now being widely used in the Ukraine, across the Urals and in Azerbaijan. On the desalinated lands, on which only recently no vegetation grew at all, comparatively good harvests have been obtained.

Armenian scientists on the other hand, have proposed treating salines, which abound in the Ararat Valley, with a one per cent solution of waste sulphuric acid which disarms alkalis and decomposes calcium and magnesium carbonates. As a result, the soils form the same gypsum.

However, not gypsum can overcome salinization. It is less effective in fact than some substances which are formed in the process of oil refining – a recent discovery made by Azerbaijan scientists. In their experiments these substances reduced the sodium content in the soil to one-quarter, and the plants revived before their very eyes.

The wastes from the manufacture of fodder yeast are as good as the oil wastes. Today biochemical plants supply them to the fields of Moldavia. Another effective remedy for salinization is iron vitriol derived from the wastes of metallurgical enterprises.

If soil salinization is halted, agriculture will receive substantial additional areas. This is why the problem preoccupies scientists and engineers. For example, associates of the Tselinograd Agricultural Institute have devised a special digging unit whose powerful rotors easily grind up the most dense saline layers.

At the Volgograd Agricultural Station similar results are being achieved by newly designed triple-depth ploughs which crush petrified soils, thereby allowing in air and water.

One new method is by the use of electricity. It forces the moisture to run along the capillaries and to restore the soil to life.

As the reader can see, traditional agricultural sciences are now being increasingly helped by non-traditional ones – petrochemistry, electrochemistry, biophysics. Each contributes to the solution of the food problem which hangs over our planet like the sword of Damocles. According to UN data, half a million people in the world suffer from hunger or chronic malnutrition.


Slake the thirst – угамовувати спрагу

Like cures like – клин клином вибивають

Iron vitriol – залізний купорос

Special digging unit – спеціальний засіб для копання

Triple-depth plough – плуг для зорювання на трійну глибину

The sword of Damocles – Дамоклов меч

Date: 2015-09-02; view: 150; Нарушение авторских прав

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