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Soil Stresses, Quality and Care

Elmholt, Susanne; Stenberg, Bo; Grønlund, Arne and Nuutinen, Visa (Eds.) (2000) Soil Stresses, Quality and Care. Danish Institute of Agricultural Research, DIAS Report, no. 38. Proceedings of Soil Stresses, Quality and Care. NJF Seminar 310, Ås, Norway, 10-12 April 2000.

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NJF-seminar Soil Stresses, Quality and Care
Different people understand differently the word soil. The soil can be looked upon as a body of nature and a part of the landscape. To many people soil is the substrate for plant growth and a prerequisite for food production and wealth. A third and perhaps growingly important view is soil as the physical ground for housings, roads and industry.
Soil is important to the whole society, not only for the agricultural sector. Soil has important ecological functions as it interacts with the dead bedrock, the atmosphere, the water, and the living organisms. Important functions are:
Biomass producer and transformer
Geomembrane, filter and buffer
Habitat for living organisms
Raw material and building ground
Cultural heritage
Even if these important roles of soil are probably widely known, the world's soil resources are degraded at an alarming rate. This is well documented by for instance the World Resources Institute (http://www.nhq.nrcs.usda.gov/WSR/).
We need to care for our prime agricultural soils, soils which provide the green in urban areas, as well as soil resources in natural landscapes.
Soil and agricultural scientists have detailed knowledge of specific functions and processes in soil. Seminar topics in NJF’s Section 1 (Soils and fertilisers) in the recent years show that soil biology and ecology have been added to the previous production-related research such as tillage and fertilisation. We are now prepared to study the whole soil and we have to show that our knowledge concerns the society and not only the farmers and gardeners. We believe that the concept of soil quality will help us to improve our communication about soils and soil use. Politicians, authorities, and farmers need a soil quality classification that makes the choices between different soil uses and managements based on soil science. Such classifications have been used in agriculture for many years. However, it is necessary to develop them and relate the classification systems and parameters used to present-day problems and technology. It is also important to use in communication modern language, as less and less people have hands-on experience with soils in an agricultural context.
This seminar intended to elucidate and discuss the present knowledge and research that can help us assess the quality of soils and to identify key properties which may be used as indicators of soil health. The seminar showed that we possess the knowledge, and that we have a good base for the further work with the soil quality concept and its practical use.
On behalf of the Nordic Association of Agricultural Scientists I will thank the organising committee for a well planned and conducted seminar.
Svein Skøien, Chairman, NJF Section Soil and Fertilisers

EPrint Type:Proceedings
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy
Farming Systems
Crop husbandry > Composting and manuring
Soil > Nutrient turnover
Soil > Soil quality
Crop husbandry > Soil tillage
Soil > Soil quality > Soil biology
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > I. 7 (ROMAPAC) Soil quality in organic farming
Deposited By: Elmholt, Susanne
ID Code:979
Deposited On:08 Aug 2003
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:27
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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