Salinity of the soil solution, irrigation water or fertilizer solution is an important parameter affecting the root zone environment.

All of these factors can have a significant effect on plant growth and physiology. Salinity is monitored by measuring the electrical conductivity (EC). EC is strongly correlated to the salinity of the soil solution. Since EC measurement is also affected by temperature and, to a lesser degree, by soil moisture content, it is always necessary to have temperature compensation. Further, readings should always be taken in saturated soils / substrates (field capacity).

Electrical conductivity (EC) is an important parameter in the evaluation of irrigation water and fertilizer solutions. Crops can be damaged if irrigated with water of too high conductivity. Nutrient stock solutions must be checked regularly. In greenhouses and open fields with frequent fertigation, EC should be checked regularly to ensure all plants are getting sufficient nutrients while avoiding the effects of salt toxicity.