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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Hatfield, Jerry

Submitted to: Geotimes
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/3/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Soil science is being challenged to develop a more holistic understanding of human activities on the soil resource. This challenge requires that information be understood across a range of disciplines, however, does not negate the requirement for strong disciplinary understanding of soil science. The complex biological, chemical, and physical processes occurring within the soil volume are critical to food and fiber production environmental quality, recreation, and the sustainability of the natural resources. Soil provides the basis needed to sustain humankind. Soil provides the foundation upon which food is grown, water is captured before moving into rivers and lakes, roads and houses are built, and our culture is based. It is necessary that we understand how to manage this resource to continue to preserve these functions. It appears that there are increasing potential conflicts concerning management and use of land. Soil lscientists are going to have to blend their understanding of proper land management with other disciplines to assist in building and sustaining a stable resource base upon which humankind can continue to survive. Priorities for research include such topics as carbon sequestration in soil, soil biological systems including microbiology, and remediation of soil to improve productivity or enhance environmental quality. There are a number of challenge areas that could be explored that would have a positive impact on humankind.

Last Modified: 06/23/2017
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