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Managing soil quality: Challenges in modern agriculture

Sojka, R.E. and Sanchez, P. (2004) Managing soil quality: Challenges in modern agriculture. Soil Science. 169(12):884-886.

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The editors of this book, P. Schjonning, S.
Elmholt, and B.T. Christensen, have succeeded in
compiling perhaps the most focused technically
based book on soil quality published to date. The
chapters they have brought together are predominately
the work of European, Australian, and Canadian
authors who, to a greater degree than in previous
texts, have taken a data-based analytical
approach to concept demonstration and testing.
This is refreshing for a topic that has been largely
dominated in the American literature by philosophical
semantics and institutional proselytizing,
more often than not in the absence of specific data
collected or applied to the proposed conceptual
framework. Even the nonempirical opening and
closing chapters by Schjonning et al., which are intentionally
philosophical, consider some new conceptual
refinements and are at least somewhat open
to the possibility that critiques of the soil quality
concept offered to date have merit worth pondering.
Nevertheless, as one of us communicated to
Per Schjonning during the preparation of the
book, we feel an opportunity was missed by failing
to include more objective assessments of the concept
directly from concept-skeptics. Although a
few chapters cite the existence of concept criticisms
superficially, none deal substantively with any
of the twenty or more specific technical reservations
about the soil quality concept that have been
specifically and repeatedly articulated in several
high-profile critiques in the literature. Fewer than
ten sentences in Schjonning et al.'s book deal with
these specific reservations, and none substantively.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 1145
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:49
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2016 15:59
Item ID: 7