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ARS Home » Plains Area » Brookings, South Dakota » Integrated Cropping Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #279476

Title: Soil management for food security

item SCHUMACHER, THOMAS - Retired Non ARS Employee
item Schneider, Sharon
item LOBB, DAVID - University Of Manitoba

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/5/2012
Publication Date: 7/22/2012
Citation: Schumacher, T.E., Papiernik, S.K., Lobb, D.A. 2012. Soil management for food security. 67th International Soil and Water Conservation Society International Conference Abstract Book, p.31.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Food security is determined by human and non-human factors (physical, biological, and chemical components of the environment). Management of agricultural lands often seeks to modify or control non-human environmental factors so as to support diverse (and often conflicting) objectives, such as extraction of resources, profitability, human survival, soil and water conservation, maintenance of wildlife habitat, food security, etc. Agricultural management objectives have short and long term consequences that must be considered in devising global and national food security goals. Soil management practices relating to food security can be classified as destructive, reactive, or proactive. Past soil management practices have emphasized resource extraction and profitability, often to the detriment of soil conservation and long term food security. Our goal as soil scientists is to evaluate and develop soil management practices that balance short and long term objectives by fostering land use for food production while supporting critical environmental processes. In this presentation, specific examples will be used to illustrate some past practices detrimental to long-term food security (removal of topsoil by erosion, increased soil salinity from fallow), reactive measures to rehabilitate degraded landscapes (movement of topsoil, use of soil amendments such as manure and biochar), and proactive practices that protect functioning landscapes (no-till, use of precision located perennials).