Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 3, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Recent research has led to the description of soil quality indicators and efforts to implement the use of these indicators as management and resources assessment tools. This presentation will consider the appropriateness of soil quality indexing as a defined parameter in soil science. Our concerns are for premature acceptance and institutionalization of these concepts and we note problems of definition, philosophical and scientific contradictions, and apparent taxonomic bias inherent in indexing soil quality. Production and economic realities that question the underlying assumptions and intended use of the concept will be presented. No compelling argument has surfaced for defining a new soil science paradigm that is not targeted at solving specific problems. The challenge for soil science is to develop innovative solutions to the host of known soil management related issues, that maintain agricultural profitability while simultaneously preserving our natural resources.