Desalination is the go-to solution for water shortages but its mineral composition may actually harm the crops. Farmers should be aware of the crops that are sensitive to desalinated water and plan accordingly for additional water supplies when shopping for farm lending to finance new land or expand existing operations.


Desalinated Water Is Not The Right Option for All Crops

Sensitive plants will show signs of deteriorating quality when desalinated water is used. These damages are intensified when used with plants ground in the sand or off the ground, as the soil is unable to add missing minerals into the plant as it grows. Therefore, desalinated water should not be used universally without necessary precautions. This means farmers should secure additional water sources, even with the help of farm lending, to ensure their crops are not adversely affected. 


Damages Caused by Desalinated Water

Desalinated water provides fresh drinking water but it is stripped of most of its minerals. Essential minerals are missing and hinder a crop’s ability to grow. Lack of calcium in the soil can lead to physiological defects in crops. Meanwhile, overall plant development may be adversely affected by magnesium shortages. 


The effects of desalinated water will vary depending on the type of crop, with some being more susceptible than others. Some crops adversely affected by desalinated water include tomatoes and basil.


Water Composition Needs To Be Monitored

A solution to the potential damage that desalinated water can cause is to continuously monitor water composition. Systems are being implemented in the agricultural industry to report changes in the composition of desalinated water. The way this water is used and administered to crops will vary based on the farmer’s analysis of mineral composition at any given point of time. There are standards for the quality of desalinated water used for drinking water. Now, farmers are fighting for desalinated water to have nutritional elements vital to crops be added back in.


Contact Us to Learn More

The best way to hedge against water shortage is to take proactive measures to increase your supply. Evaluate the availability of groundwater in the potential property you are considering and your potential crop’s resistance to damage from desalinated water. Loan officers at AgAmerica are ready to discuss your financing options and answer any questions you may have regarding farm lending practices. Contact us today to learn more.