Department of Reclamation of Saline Soils

1. History of the department.

The department is organized as an independent subdivision on the basis of soil fertility monitoring department, having gone through a number of reorganizations:

1954 – Department of soil melioration and laboratory of melioration forecasting.

1966 – Laboratory of melioration of irrigated soils,

1991 – Laboratory of melioration and fertility of irrigated soils,

1995 – Department of soil processes modeling.

2008 – Soil melioration sector as part of soil fertility monitoring department.

2013 – Department of melioration of saline soils.

In 1966-1969 the department was headed by a well-known land meliorator in the republic,  Candidate of Ag.Sc. Egorichev G.A., from 1969 to 2004 by Academician of the NAS RK Akhanov Zh.U., 2004-2008 by his student Dr. Ag.Sc. Kan V.M., since 2008-2019 was headed by Candidate of biological sciences Otarov A.

From 2019 to the present, the department of saline soil melioration is headed by Master of Agricultural Sciences, PhD student Poshanov M.N.

 

1.     Department staff.

The department includes 7 staff members, of which 6 are young staff- 4 PhD students of the 3rd year of study, 1 Master, 1 Master student and 1 Bachelor. Young researchers of the department are constantly working to improve their skills.

Vyrakhmanova A. graduated from the international English language courses at the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA). In 2017, she completed an internship at Warsaw University (Poland, Warsaw).

In 2014 Poshanov M., JR on the basis of ICARDA (Tashkent) completed an internship on working with the SWAT simulation model, climate change modeling program. In 2017, he completed training on saline soil management at the National Research Center “A.N. Sokolovsky Institute of Soil Science and Agrochemistry”. NRC ISA is working with support of FAO. In 2019, he completed  internship in digital processing of space images using the ILWIS 3.2 program at the V.V. Dokuchaev Soil Institute , Moscow (Russia).

 

In 2014, Duysekov S., PhD student in the framework of the international ICARDA project “Knowledge Management” within the framework of the 2nd phase of ICACLRM participated in the seminar “Development of similarity maps to promote selected LRM packages in Central Asia” where he learned how to work  in the ArcGIS GIS program. In 2015, he completed internship in digital processing of space images using the ILWIS 3.2 program at the V.V. Dokuchaev Soil Institute (Moscow), and learned the ENVI program at the Institute of Ecology and Geography (Urumqi).

Smanov Zh. completed internship in 2014 “Geoinformatics and Cloud-GIS” from September 13 to 28 at the interfaculty department of geoinformatics – University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria. 2016 “In-depth processing technology ERS data”, information technology center, November 21-28, Moscow, Russia “The art of thematic interpretation”, Center for Information Technologies, November 28-02, Moscow (Russia).

Suleimenova A.I. In 2015, she completed internship at  Agricultural University of Plovdiv (Bulgaria).

 

3. Main research areas

– theoretical and applied issues of soil formation process in terms of irrigation and technogenic pollution of  soil surface.

– land melioration environmental assessment and zoning of the territory.

– development of scientific foundations for technology of fertility reproduction of irrigated soils and melioration of saline and polluted soils.

– creation of soil-ecological and soil-reclamation information systems (GIS),

– space technology for monitoring and assessing soil melioration state  in irrigated areas of the republic:

– development of scientific foundations of space method for monitoring  ameliorative state of irrigated soils

– development of space method for large-scale digital mapping of soil salinity  degree

– development of methods for studying the long-term dynamics of soil salinity using  space method and digital mapping

 

   4. Services provided by the department

– soil- melioration, soil-ecological and soil-agrochemical survey of fields, recommendations for their effective use.

 

5. Main achievements

The department staff carried out  research works with the following results:

– halogeochemical map of Kazakhstan 1:1000000 scale, which was made  by a large team of soil scientists-melioration specialists under the guidance of Academician Borovsky V.M., served the experts of the USSR as a rational solution for transferring the flow of the Siberian rivers to the south;

– soil and melioration map of plain Kazakhstan 1:25000 scale allowed to evaluate  soil and reclamation resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan for their rational use;

– soil melioration and hydrogeological surveys and studies of their regime to justify  irrigation in the valleys of the Ili and Chu rivers. Based on researches, projects were developed and engineering and melioration systems were built in the Chu River valley and the Ili River delta with  irrigation area of 125 thousand hectares;

– soil melioration and hydrogeological surveys and studies of their regime to justify  irrigation in the Volga-Ural interfluve. The Ural-Kushum irrigation system was built on the Ural River;

– studies of the efficiency of vertical drainage in the Tas-Otkel irrigation array. 133 vertical wells were built with a total flow rate of 30 l/s; drainage meliorating impact covered an area of 20 thous. ha on the right bank and 10 thous. ha on the left bank of the Chu River. 75,000 thous.ha  of irrigated lands have been developed for growing  sugar beet and their commercial production has been established;

– development of technological bases for increasing soil fertility and productivity of agricultural crops using mineralized drainage waters of the south of Kazakhstan for irrigation. The Karadala and Aksuet irrigation arrays with an area of 50 thous. ha have been developed;

– development of soil- melioration measures for irrigation and economic development of the lower reaches of the Chu River. Animal-breeding base with pastures on area of 50 thous.ha has been created;

– development of scientific bases of biological farming in the south of Kazakhstan. For the first time in Kazakhstan, experimental work was carried out to develop the technology of biological farming in the South Kazakhstan and Almaty regions at stations;

– development of scientific bases for  reproduction of fertility of irrigated lands in the foothills and deserts of Kazakhstan. Principles and technological ways to improve soil fertility have been developed;

– development of scientific bases for reproduction of fertility of gray-brown underdeveloped soils in  tobacco growing zone. For the first time, experimental field studies were carried out to develop  technology for fertility reproduction of thin gray-brown soils under tobacco;

– study of degradation and phytosanitary state of periodically flooded rice soils in Kazakhstan and  development of scientific foundations and practical measures to increase their fertility. The main factors leading to  degradation of periodically flooded rice soils in Kazakhstan and the role of  phytosanitary state in this process have been determined;

– development of technological bases fertility reproduction of rice soils. Physicochemical priorities and technologies for fertility reproduction of rice soils have been determined;

– development of functional models of fertility reproduction of irrigated soils in the south of Kazakhstan. For the first time, a functional model was developed for fertility reproduction of irrigated soil by dominant traits (nitrogen cycle) based on new materials and resource-saving technologies;

 – development of measures to improve and preserve soil fertility in rice fields aimed  to improve ecological state. Assessment of  current ameliorative state of soils was carried out, soil maps and databases were created, recommendations were made to improve soil fertility and obtain environmentally friendly agricultural products;

– development of  operational method for large-scale salt survey of soils based on the study of regularities of links between soil salinization degree and spectral properties of  satellite image;

– development of scientific bases for melioration of secondary saline “waste” lands.

– development of scientific foundations for operational method of conducting large-scale salt surveys and mapping salinization degree of irrigated soils (based on example of  Akdala irrigation array);

– development of structure and creation of soil-meliorative information system (GIS) of  irrigated massif;

– development of scientific, theoretical and practical foundations for the use of a new multifunctional superbiostimulant to increase effective fertility of secondary saline irrigated soils, rice yields and  quality of its processed products;

The developments:

– differentiated technologies for reclamation of saline soils in rice fields without prior leaching and obtaining optimal yield (Almaty, Kyzylorda and South Kazakhstan regions);

– measures to improve arable land from heavy metal pollution;

– methods of development, increasing fertility of soils that have come out of agricultural circulation, unused and low productive.

 

Projects implemented within the system of competitive grants of the World Bank Project and the Ministry of Agriculture of the RK “Improving the competitiveness of agricultural products”.

 

In 2008-2012, two projects were implemented on the System of Competitive Grants for grant of the World Bank Project and the Ministry of Agriculture of the RK “Improving the competitiveness of agricultural products”.

2008-2012. “Assessment of the current soil-ecological state of rice agrocenoses and  development of scientific foundations for the technology of obtaining environmentally friendly crop products”. Scientific adviser, Head of Soil Fertility Monitoring Department, Cand.Bio.Sc.,  A. Otarov. The beneficiaries of the project are “Agrofirma Otes” LLP and “Baimeney” LLP, Balkhash district, Almaty region.

Assessment of current ecological state of main components of rice agrocenosis (soils, water and rice, and associated crops) of “Agrofirma Otes” LLP and “Baimeney” LLP of Balkhash district of Almaty region is provided. On the basis of conducted experimental work, “Recommendations for reducing intensity of heavy metals inflow into main crops of rice-alfalfa crop rotation” were published.

 

2010-2012. “Development of scientific, theoretical and practical foundations for the use of a new polyfunctional superbiostimulator to increase effective fertility of secondary saline irrigated soils, rice yields and quality of its products.” Scientific supervisor, Head of Department of soil fertility monitoring A.Otarov. Beneficiary of the project LLP “Bio-Asia”, Balkhash district of Almaty region.

As a result of the project implementation, scientific, theoretical and practical bases for the use of a new multifunctional superbiostimulator to increase effective fertility of secondary saline irrigated soils and rice yields have been developed and are applicable not only on the territory of the beneficiary, but also in almost all rice-growing farms in the country, especially in the conditions of rice farms in ecologically unfavorable Aral Sea region.

On the basis of conducted experimental work, recommendation on the topic: “Superbiostimulators (fusicoccine) and rice yield on secondary saline degraded irrigated soils of Akdala irrigation array” was published.

Projects implemented on budget program No. 019 “Services on dissemination and implementation of innovative experience.”

In 2013-2016, three projects were completed under the program 019 “Services on dissemination and implementation of innovative experience” in the South Kazakhstan and Kyzylorda regions.

 2013. “Agromelioration techniques for increasing salt tolerance of corn on soils of the South Kazakhstan region.” Scientific supervisor – LR of Saline Soils Reclamation Department, Cand.Bio.Sc. A. Mamonov.

The degree of salinization of exploited low-productive soils was studied, their current state was assessed, and innovative agro-reclamation methods were introduced into production to aimed to increase salt tolerance of corn in conditions of unfavorable reclamation situation in the Shaulder irrigation massif.

Based on the results of the work, recommendations on the use of low-volume adaptogen preparations in corn growing on saline soils of the Shaulder irrigation massif were developed and published.

2014. “Assessment of the current soil and melioration state of the territory of the 1st crop rotation of the LLP “I. Zhakhayev Kazakh Research Institute of Rice Production”. Scientific supervisor, Head of the Department of reclamation of saline soils, Cand.Bio.Sc. A. Otarov.

The work on assessment of current soil and melioration state of the territory of the 1st crop rotation in LLP “I.Zhakhaev Kazakh Research Institute of Rice Farming”. Soils of the surveyed area are highly subjected to secondary salinization; perhaps the main reason for  deterioration of  reclamation state of the territory of the study object is  insufficiently efficient operation of  collector-drainage network due to  discrepancy between their parameters and design standards. In general, characterizing the state of soil fertility, we can say that for  soils of this crop rotation, the most effective mineral fertilizer for cultivated crops are, first of all, organic and nitrogen. Phosphorus and potash fertilizers, due to their variegated concentration, must be applied specifically, with obligatory observance of the recommended doses calculated according to the cartograms.

 

2016. “Introduction into production of innovative technology for increasing fertility of saline soils and training farmers in  basics of technology.” Scientific supervisor Head of Saline Soil Reclamation Department, Cand.Bio.Sc. A. Otarov.

The main aim of the work is  introduction into production of  innovative technology for increasing fertility of saline soils and crop yields while simultaneously training farmers in the basics of technology. The research object is soil surface of 42 farms in 7 rural districts of the Otyrar district of the South Kazakhstan region. The subproject farms are located throughout the territory of the Shaulder irrigation massif. As a result of  implementation of the Project, it was found that soils of almost all subproject farms are secondary saline. Soils of the subproject farms are currently at the stage of patchy salinization, and if urgent measures are not taken now to restore the collector and drainage network, they may go into the stage of continuous salinization.

 

Contract works (projects executed under a contract with farms and other customers)

 

2010-2011. “Testing the effect of complex organomineral fertilizer “Green Eco” on  yield capacity of rice crops in conditions of the Akdala irrigation array.” Scientific adviser Cand.Bio.Sc. A. Otarov.

Study of the effect of pre-sowing treatment of rice crop seeds with various concentrations of a solution of  complex organomineral fertilizer “Green Eco” on its yield in conditions of the Akdala irrigation array.

In conditions of field vegetation and field experiments, it was determined that  presowing treatment of rice seeds with aqueous solution of  complex organomineral fertilizer “Green Eco” gave statistically significant positive results.

In conditions of  field experiment, all tested doses, compared with the control, untreated seeds, gave an increase in yield from 1.6 to 7.6 c/ha, or 5.4% to 25.7%.

The research results can be used for production testing of complex organomineral fertilizer “Green Eco” in conjunction with other methods of differentiated agri technique on soils of the south-east of Kazakhstan.

2011. “The current state of soil surface of Shieli state variety testing site of  Kyzylorda region and  necessary measures aimed to improve them.” Scientific supervisor Cand.Bio.Sc. A. Otarov.

The work on the study of the degree of provision of soils of Shieli State variety-testing plot of Kyzylorda region with basic nutrients has been carried out, recommendation on  rational use of mineral fertilizers has been developed.

 

2012. “The current state of soil surface of Tumar LLP and necessary measures to improve them.” Scientific adviser Cand.Bio.Sc. A. Otarov.

Assessment of the current state of soil surface in Tumar LLP was provided and the required doses of fertilizers to increase soil fertility aimed to obtain high yield of cultivated crops are calculated.

Characterizing the state of soil fertility, we can say that for soils of this farm, the most effective mineral fertilizer for cultivated crops are, first of all, organic, then nitrogen. Phosphorus and potash fertilizers, due to their variegated concentration, should be applied with obligatory observance of  recommended doses according to the cartogram.

 

2013. “Testing the effect of the drug “Edagum SM” on yield capacity of agricultural crops” in  conditions of  Akdala irrigation array. Scientific supervisor Cand.Bio.Sc. A. Otarov.

The work on the study of the effect of presowing treatment of rice seeds with  aqueous solution of “Edagum SM” in conditions of Akdala irrigation array has been carried out, where it was determined that presowing treatment of rice seeds with aqueous solution of humic liquid fertilizer “Edagum SM” based on peat, helps to increase the rice yield. The yield increase from presowing treatment of rice seeds with aqueous solution of “Edagum SM” in comparison with the control was 4.5 c/ha or 15.5%.

 

2014 “Conducting experimental tests of sublimated peat-based granular mixture (NISABA) in rice growing.” Scientific adviser Cand.Bio.Sc. A. Otarov.

Studies on the effect of various doses of the Nisaba preparation on humus state, concentration of main nutrients in rice-marsh soils and rice yield have been carried out. The results of which showed that  application of the Nisaba preparation to soil contributes to  stabilization of humus state of periodically flooded rice soils, the most effective applied dose in creating a positive balance of humus in alkaline periodically flooded rice-marsh soils is a dose of 600 kg/ha. Yield increase was observed in all variants of experiments, the increase in rice yield corresponded to the increase in  doses of the drug from 12.3 to 25.7%.

 

2016-17. “Assessment of the current state of  soil surface of RZA-Agro LLP”. Scientific adviser Cand.Bio.Sc. Otarov.

The assessment of  current state of soils of RZA-Agro LLP is provided,  soils of the surveyed area are highly susceptible to secondary salinization, perhaps the main reason for deterioration of the ameliorative state of the territory of the research object is  insufficiently efficient operation of the collector-drainage network due to  discrepancy between their parameters and design standards, the lack of capital lay out of the filed surfaces, in general, a rather low culture of land cultivation.

Recommendations on improvement of soil fertility and crop yields were published.

International projects

2003-2006. International project: “Co-ordination of scientific activities towards elaboration of common strategy for environmental protection and sustainable management in Syr Darya River Basin, in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan”. Scientific supervisor of Kazakhstani part of the project, Cand.Bio.Sc. A. Otarov.

The project deals with development of strategy for environmental protection and sustainable management in  Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan parts of the Syrdarya river basin. Within the framework of the project, current soil and reclamation state of  Kelessky, Golodnostepsky, Kyzylkumsky and Shieli irrigation massifs was assessed.

The results showed that at present there is a catastrophic deterioration in  ameliorative state of irrigated soils in the region. Of the total surveyed 303.6 thousand hectares of soil area, more than half (52.2%) have saline soils. Approximately same proportion is occupied by areas with groundwater which occur above critical depth and salinity. This led to the fact that due to salinization and waterlogging the unused lands appeared. Of the entire surveyed area, 6664 hectares are no longer used due to salinization and waterlogging. Of the entire surveyed 1693.3 thousand hectares of the area, 806.8 thousand hectares or 47.7% are subject to wind erosion. Wind erosion is most expressed in the west of Shardara and Shieli massifs, where weakly fixed sands of the vast Kyzylkum sand massif predominate. 402.5 thousand ha or 19.7% of the whole  surveyed 2041.9 thousand hectares of the area are subject to water erosion. Water erosion, including irrigation, is highly developed in the Keles River basin.

The irrigated lands of the region are undergoing an irreversible process of soil degradation, leading to  complete loss of their fertility and  transformation of fertile oases into vast saline deserts.

2007-2008. International Framework Project: “Research on sustainable land management” on grant from the International Center for Agricultural Research (ICARDA, Syria), Scientific supervisor of Kazakhstani part of the project, Cand.bio.Sc. A. Otarov

The project aimed at the study of sustainable land management of the Shieli irrigation massif. Based on the results of agrochemical survey of  soils of the Shieli massif, it was found that  soils of the entire surveyed area in terms of humus and nitrogen concentration  have a degree of availability of “very low” and “low” and are classified as unsecured, and  sharply need organic and nitrogen fertilizers. The provision of soils with mobile form of phosphorus and potassium was quite varied, therefore, when applying phosphate fertilizers, it is necessary to strictly adhere to the recommended doses according to the cartograms.

The compiled cartograms of soil humus state and provision of soils with basic nutrients,  agrochemical essay, were transferred for practical use to the team of “Kaptagay and K” LLP.

 

2010-11. International project “Assessment of vulnerability of agro-ecosystems in Central Asia in relation to negative impacts of climate change – growing  and yield capacity  of spring and winter wheat.” Grant from the International Center for Agricultural Research (ICARDA, Syria). Scientific supervisor of  Kazakhstani part of the project, Cand.Bio.Sc. A. Otarov

The study is carried out using crop development simulation model CropSyst (Stöckle, 2003), which allows simulating growth and development of different types of crops at daily interval.

Database has been created for five Kazakhstani plots – Shieli (winter wheat), Akmola (spring wheat), Petropavlovsk, Kostanai and North-Kazakhstan (spring wheat).

By modeling wheat growth and development in the context of climate change, it was found that, in general, climate change will positively affect wheat productivity in Central Asia. Basically, this positive effect is explained by climate warming, increased effect of CO2 feeding. Too high temperatures during flowering period will become a problem (flower sterility) in the distant future in some, mainly southern, territories and in northern Kazakhstan, where spring wheat is grown. However, the picture is not too dramatic, and direction of breeding towards breeding varieties which are tolerant to high temperatures can be a solution to the problem.

       The demand for water does not increase with climate change. However, already at present, over-irrigation and subsequent secondary soil salinization, being a constant threat to agricultural production, requires improved irrigation and drainage management. Therefore, future research should focus on improving irrigation management. Going forward, it is necessary to combine modeling of crop cultivation under irrigation conditions in Central Asia with hydrological/climatological assessments of snow accumulation and snowmelt and impact of climate change on them.

As a result of this project,  scientific article was published http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167880913002168

 

2013-2015. International project “Development of methods for assessing soil quality, crop yield potential and water conservation for sustainable agricultural development” within grant from  Federal Agency for Agriculture (BLE) and  Federal Ministry of Agriculture (BMELV) of Germany. Together with Leibniz Center for  Study of Agricultural Landscapes (Müncheberg, Germany).

The project was aimed at strengthening and expanding scientific ties between scientists from Kazakhstan and the EU. Based on the project results, scientific article (http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-01017-5_41) was published in the collective monograph Novel Measurement and Assessment Tools for Monitoring and Management of Land and Water Resources in Agricultural Landscapes of Central Asia.

2014-2016. International project: “Knowledge Management” in the framework of the 2nd phase of CACILM on grant from the International Center for Agricultural Research (ICARDA, Syria), scientific supervisor of the 3-component of  Kazakhstani part of the project Cand.Bio.Sc. A. Otarov.

The project is aimed at dissemination of agricultural knowledge accumulated during the 1st phase of CACILM among farmers in Central Asian countries and Kazakhstan. As a result of the project, ten technologies of Kazakhstani scientists were selected for inclusion in the Project database. For rainfed ecosystems – 2, for irrigated ecosystems – 5 and for pasture ecosystems – 2.

 

2015. International Small Project: Climate Change Adaptation: Ensuring Food Security in Central Asia. Remote tools for assessing and combating soil salinization in the Aral Sea basin. Grant No. 609528 – STI. International Cooperation Network for Eastern Partnership countries (IncoNet CA Twinning Grants) within the framework of the EU “Horizon 2020” Project.

Based on the Project results, video clip was released https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2e6avQVTrVw&feature=youtu.be

2014-2016. International project “Development of method for biological melioration of saline soils using licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra L.)”. Together with the Institute of Ecology and Geography of the AS  of China. Scientific adviser Cand.Bio.Sc.  A. Otarov.

Work has been carried out on development of methods for biological amelioration of secondary saline soils that are out of agricultural use. The object of study is saline soils of the Akdala massif.

2014-2017. International project “Development of drip irrigation method for rice and its impact on soil properties.” Jointly  with the Institute of Ecology and Geography of the AS of China. Scientific adviser Cand.Bio.Sc.  A. Otarov.

The main goal of the study was to develop  method of rice drip irrigation and study its effect on  basic soil properties. The research object is  saline soils of the Akdala massif.

2016-2018. International project “Development of method for obtaining slow-acting fertilizer from aluminosilicates”. The leading institute is the Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry of the NAS of the RA (Armenia).

The main goal is to study physical and chemical foundations and develop a new technology for obtaining slow and long-acting fertilizer from potassium-containing aluminosilicates containing potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. The Institute staff  tested the effect of new fertilizers on soil fertility and crop yields in laboratory, vegetative and field conditions.

Summing up the results of brief review of soil and melioration works of the department, it should be noted that melioration works were conducted in almost all  main problematic irrigated areas in the south and southeast of the country. There appeared many works on improving  fertility of meliorated soils, methods of development of secondary saline “fallow” lands that are out of agricultural circulation, detoxification of soils contaminated with heavy metals and other pollutants in unfavorable melioration situation, which, unfortunately, occurred due to the impossibility of conducting classical methods of soil melioration. New scientific direction in soil melioration occurred, for example, we can name the series “New technologies for development and exploitation of saline alkaline soils without preliminary soil leaching”,  theoretical basis of which is a completely new approach to determining  objects of amelioration of saline soils. It can also be noted that in recent years, completely new direction of soil melioration studies using  space method and digital mapping has been emerging.

According to the results of long-term researches, more than 200 scientific papers have been published by the department staff.

 

Contact details

E-mail: maksat_90.okkz@mail.ru

office phone +7 727 2455474

mobile phone: +7 702 391 95 90