Since up to 2.4 m (8 ft) of water may be applied annually to cranberry beds for various production purposes, water quality can alter soil chemical properties and potentially affect plant health. Many cranberry plantings have recently been developed in nontraditional production regions and on atypical sites, wherechemical properties of the available water may differ from those in cranberry sites in the traditional production regions. Water currently being used for cranberry production was sampled from farms in most major production regions to characterize its chemical characteristics. High alkalinity in many samples was a concern, since alkalinity can increase soil pH above the desired level for cranberries. Total soluble salt concentrations and sodium adsorption ratios were seldom high enough to be of concern. Water samples from long-established plantings were lower in alkalinity, pH, and soluble salt concentrations than samples from newer plantings without production histories.
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