What You Should Know About Trace Elements Found in Irrigation Water


People who cultivate the land for food have to first undertake procedures to allow them to discover the trace elements in a water supply below their land. This can have an impact on the type and variety of food that the land can be used for.

In most cases, a sample of the water will be presented to a laboratory for analysis. The analysis will typically include a breakdown of all the trace elements in that particular sample. If you would like to discover which elements are not good for certain plants, read on.

Trace Elements

Different irrigated water samples contain different trace elements, depending on your location. However, some of the most common elements found include:

  • Cadmium. This element is harmful to plants and humans, and can harm plants with even a tiny amount present in the water. Particularly toxic to turnips beets and beans; minimum recommendations for cadmium are in place when analyzing water samples to prevent the accumulation of cadmium in plants that are then eaten by humans.
  • Cobalt. This element usually only affects tomato plants. In fact, it can be deadly towards them. If cobalt is found in irrigated water, (which is surrounded by alkaline soil), the effects of the cobalt are minimized.
  • Lead. Trace elements of lead in an irrigated water supply is not a good sign. Lead is not tolerated by the vast majority of plants above certain, minimal concentrations. If present in some concentrations, lead can inhibit the growth of the cells of a plant and cause it to die off.
  • Beryllium. Only very small traces of beryllium are tolerated by most plants. Particularly prone to the toxic effects of this trace element is bush beans.
  • Selenium. This is a particularly strong trace element, and can affect plants as well as livestock. If the concentration levels of selenium are too high, the grass produced from the soil can potentially harm the livestock grazing on it.
  • Magnesium. Magnesium is another trace element found in irrigated water supplies. Magnesium can harm only a couple of plant species in high concentrations, and this only happens in acid soils. Otherwise, the magnesium remains passive.

People using the land to grow food for general consumption must satisfy certain rules, codes and requirements to ensure that they have tested the water underneath the land, and that it doesn't contain high concentrations of certain elements. Have companies like Agrifood Technology test your water to find out what contaminants are in your irrigation water so you can find a solution.


15 May 2015

Growing after Fires and Other Destructive Acts of Nature

Hi, my name is Jules, and I grew up hearing about the time my grandparents lost everything after a severe drought. Even as a child, I wished I could have gone back in time and helped them, but as that wasn't possible, I decided to study everything I could about agriculture and withstanding natural disasters ranging from droughts to floods. Now, many of my rural friends are in a similar position as my grandparents were years ago as their livelihoods are threatened by spreading forest fires, increased temperatures and even typhoons in certain areas. This blog explains how to resist those threats and what to do after becoming a victim. Welcome. Please explore this blog!