Re: Stirring the "SQ" Pot (fwd)

Date: Fri, 24 Feb 1995 08:31:39 -0500
From: a16msafley@attmail.com (Marc  Safley)
Subject: Stirring the "SQ" Pot

The following message was posted by me to the SANET-MG concerning 
soil quality and the capacity of a solum  to respond to management.

Marc Safley

Date: Thu Feb 23 07:58:03 -0500 1995
From: internet!attmail!a16msafley (Marc  Safley)
Phone: +1 202 720 3921
Subject: Soil Quality Attributes
To: internet!ces.ncsu.edu!sanet-mg
Content-Length: 1338

Not to try to beat this issue to death...that is not the point of this message;
the distinction between soil quality and soil attributes that make them 
usable is one that needs to be ironed out in a better way if we are to 
clearly conceive and test soil quality indicators.

The fact that soils of all types can respond to management inputs 
is one upon which the industrial model of agriculture has depended.  In 
many cases soils that would otherwise be unsuited for crop production
have produced bumper yields.  The question is not whether or not this 
should be a consideration for agriculture so much as it is whether or 
not this should be a criteria for determining soil quality.  

The discussions of soil quality have focused on improving or
regenerating lost capacity of soils that have been damaged by intensive
agricultural management.  I suggest that this is the proper avenue of 
thought.  If it is necessary to describe the ability of soil to respond
to physical and chemical management so that production is made 
either possible or profitable then perhaps there should be a separate 
parameter by which we assess soil response...we could call it 
response to management for lack of a more creative term.

Thank you for the quality discussion.

Marc Safley
Natural Resources Conservation Service