The soil management series
Publications to help you get more from your soil
Whether you grow a few acres of vegetables for local markets, or two thousand acres of corn and soybeans for international markets, you depend on top performance from your soil. The Soil Management series is aimed at improving soil performance. Because each farm is unique, the series will not tell you the "best way" to manage your soil. Only you can decide that. Instead, it will help you make more effective use of recommendations from the university, consultants, and other advisors.
Agronomic recommendations are typically made for broad climatic regions or soil types, but farmers are increasingly interested in fine-tuning and customizing management practices to fit their unique situation and variability across the land. One example of this trend is precision agriculture technology. The goals of a "fine-tuning" approach to land management are to use resources more efficiently, improve profits, and preserve the profitability and health of the land into the future. To fine-tune agronomic practices, farmers need to monitor the variation across the land from year to year, treat different parts of each field differently, and perhaps run personalized experiments to learn what works best on an individual farm.
This series will help by providing the background science needed to monitor soil and to understand how you can modify general recommendations to suit the needs of your farm. Each publication consists of the following sections that feature basic information, practical applications, and places to look for more help:
- The soil manager - explains management options for improving your soil.
- The soil scientist - reviews the soil science principles that are important to production agriculture.
- Your farm - helps you apply what you are reading to your own farm.
- What's next? - wraps up the chapter by helping you assess your operation and soil.
- Further resources - lists people and publications to consult for more information.