Contents: 1. Soil testing. 2. Soil conservation. 3. Soil amendments. 4. Moisture analysis. 5. Soil properties. 6. Soil bacteriology. 7. Functional groups of soil organisms. 8. Soil microbiology. 9. Soil bioengineering.
Sustainability of agricultural systems is a major global concern due to population growth and a number of environmental factors. Soil fertility is the capacity to receive, store and transmit energy to support plant growth. These processes require healthy soils-living, self-organising systems with physical, chemical and biological components all functioning and in balance. Continuous use of acidic or salty synthetic fertilisers, insecticides, fungicides and herbicides disrupts this delicate balance. Organic Farming has recognised this, but needs to follow its leaders to active soil fertility management. Carbon, in particular, is of critical importance and needs to be maximised through capture with solar energy through photosynthesis by green plants, and optimum storage and use in the soil. Active management of the soil foodweb, remineralisation, and substantial increase of soil organic carbon are essential to reaching ecologically sustainable production systems and a (less-un)sustainable agriculture. Such a system produces healthy food with good taste and structure (i.e. availability calcium and silica), and extended shelf-life. This book is an excellent reference for environmental and agricultural professionals as well as a textbook for undergraduate and graduate students preparing for a career in agriculture or soil fertility management