Building Soils for Better Crops, Third Edition

Summary and Sources

Overview

Summary

There are many things to be learned by regularly observing the soil and plants in your fields. These include being able to evaluate the severity of runoff, erosion, and compaction; root development; severe nutrient deficiencies; and the presence of earthworms, among other things. Laboratory evaluations of biological indicators, as well as more comprehensive evaluations of indicators of soil health, can also be employed. It is, of course, not enough to know whether a particular limitation exists. In the following (and last) chapter we will discuss both how to put together soil and crop management systems for building healthy soils and how to address particular issues that may arise from field observations or laboratory analyses.

Sources

Andrews, S.S., D.L. Karlen, and C.A. Cambardella. 2004. The soil management assessment framework: A quantitative soil quality evaluation method. Soil Science Society of America Journal 68: 1945–1962.

Gugino, B., O.J. Idowu, H. van Es, R. Schindelbeck, G. Abawi, D. Wolfe, J. Thies, and B. Moebius. 2009. Cornell Soil Health Training Manual. Cornell University. https://soilhealth.cals.cornell.edu.

Hosier, S., and L. Bradley. 1999. Guide to Symptoms of Plant Nutrient Deficiencies. Arizona Cooperative Extension Publication AZ1106. Tucson: University of Arizona Extension.

Soil Foodweb, Inc. 2008. https://www.soilfoodweb.com/.

U.S. Department of Agriculture. 1997. Maryland Soil Quality Assessment Book. Washington, DC: Author.

van der Heijden, M.G.A., R.D. Bardgett, and N.M. van Straalen. 2008. The unseen majority: Soil microbes as drivers of plant diversity and productivity in terrestrial ecosystems. Ecology Letters 11: 296–310.

Weil, R.R., K.R. Islam, M.A. Stine, J.B. Gruver, and S.E. Samson Liebig. 2003. Estimating active carbon for soil quality assessment: A simplified method for lab and field use. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 18: 3–17.

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