Understanding the types of soil present in a location and how to work with the soil to maintain and improve its biological potential is essential to sustainable food production.  

 

Please note that the links listed below may lead to additional resources which have not yet been added to this collection.


  1. 2015-07-23 Climate change will have a huge impact on the world’s poorest people. Crop yields have already gone down in the tropics and are projected to drop by 15-30% by 2080 in Africa, South Asia, and Central America (Hoffman 2013). Some countries could reach a 50% loss of agricultural productivity; in...
  2. Rating: 5.0 - 1 Vote
    2002-01-20 The conventional view of the relationship between soil nutrients and crop productivity in the tropics is leading to both damaging agricultural policies and inefficient and damaging farm-level practices. There is no need to use the huge quantities of chemical fertilizers that are so often...
  3. 2016-03-17 This video provides a quick overview of the procedure used at ECHO Florida to test for soil nitrate using a Vernier ion selective electrode (ISE). A lab protocol provides more detailed descriptions of the steps in the process as well as all the required materials and equipment for the test.
  4. 2017-02-09 Dr. Roy Beckford presented findings from a research project that investigated an intervention strategy. The first goal was to determine the practicability of rebuilding soil horizons on eroded parent soils using blends of biochar and compost to create anthroposols, through a process called ‘...
  5. 2013-12-20 Soil quality, also known as soil health, is the capacity of the soil to function – how well it fills the roles we need it to, whether in a natural or managed ecosystem. A variety of measures are used to gauge soil health; although we can use these characteristics as indicators of soil quality,...
  6. 2009-01-20 All plants need certain mineral elements for proper growth, development, and maintenance. The basic structure of all organisms is built of carbon (C), oxygen (O) and hydrogen (H). Plants obtain these elements from water (H2O) in the soil and carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air, so no input is...
  7. 2002-01-01 Acidification of soil is a natural process with major ramifications on plant growth. As soils become more acid, particularly when the pH drops below 4.5, it becomes increasingly difficult to produce food crops. As soil pH declines, the supply of most plant nutrients decreases while aluminum and a...
  8. 2016-08-17 Farmers and gardeners in semi-arid and arid regions of the world face two associated but separate problems, which limit the crops they can grow and the yield of these crops. The underlying problem is lack of rainfall needed for growing plants. The second is accumulation of salts in the root zone....
  9. ISRIC – World Soil Information has a mission to serve the international community as custodian of global soil information. We are striving to increase awareness and understanding of soils in major global issues.
  10. A global consortium has been formed that aims to make a new digital soil map of the world using state-of-the-art and emerging technologies for soil mapping and predicting soil properties at fine resolution.This new global soil map will be supplemented by interpretation and functionality options...
  11. The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) is the global union of soil scientists. The objectives of theIUSSare to promote all branches of soil science, and to support all soil scientists across the world in the pursuit of their activities. This website provides information forIUSSmembers...
  12. TheInternational Union of Soil Science (IUSS)- at its Seventh Congress, at Madison, Wisconsin, USA, in 1960 - recommended that soil maps of continents and large regions be published. As a follow-upFAO and Unesco decided in 1961 to prepare a Soil Map of the World at 1:5 000 000 scale. The project...
  13. Healthy soils are the foundation of agriculture. In the face of mounting challenges such as a growing global population, climate change, and extreme weather events, soil health is critical to our future. Healthy soil is essential as global demands rise for food, fuel, and fiber. Soils also play a...
  14. Sustainable Agriculture for Small-Scale Growers in Nicaragua The mission ofBioNicais to provide training in Nicaragua on how to reclaim depleted soil –“Grow the Soil”– so the soil can grow nutritionally balanced crops. Participants include: 1) agricultural technicians working with...
  15. The Cornell Soil Health Assessment Training Manual: Provides an overview of the concept of soil health. Describes soil constraints and soil quality issues common to soils in New York and the Northeast region, especially in vegetable and field crop production systems. Provides guidelines on how to...
  16. 2017-01-20 This publication is Chapter 2 of Agricultural Options for Small-Scale Farmers is a book filled with practical options for those working to assist small-holder farmers and urban gardeners in the tropics and subtropics, many of whom struggle to produce enough food to feed their families. How can we...
  17. 2004-08-02 Amazon.com Description This fully revised and expanded edition of Fundamentals of Soil Ecology continues its holistic approach to soil biology and ecosystem function. Students and ecosystem researchers will gain a greater understanding of the central roles that soils play in ecosystem development...
  18. Rating: 4.5 - 2 Vote
    2012-01-01 A question that we get asked at ECHO is “Are you an organic farm?” And the answer is “No. Because of our unique soils, climate and objectives, we do use herbicides, insecticides and mineral fertilizer as needed. At the same time, we aim to minimize our use of and reliance on expensive inputs.”...
  19. 1974-10-01 Soils play a critical role in meeting human food needs. Their conservation and wise use are essential today and will be even more critical in the future as population pressures increase. These pressures are already forcing the use of lands for food production that good judgment says should be...
  20. 1991-03-01 Amazon.com Description Book by Sarrantonio, Marianne
  21. 1989-01-02 This book is a review of the potential of agroforestry for soil conservation, treated in its wider sense to include both control of erosion and maintenance of fertility. The objectives are: To summarize the present state of knowledge on agroforestry in soil conservation, including both known...
  22. 2001-01-01 Amazon.com Description Food security in West Africa is challenged by complex issues, including rapid population growth, exploitation of nonrenewable resources, and chronic low soil fertility, but in this text experts from world agricultural institutions share their work to provide solutions....
  23. 2008-10-02 This practical handbook describes sampling and laboratory assessment methods for the biodiversity of a number of key functional groups of soil organisms, including insects, earthworms, nematodes, fungi and bacteria. The methods have been assembled and the protocols drafted by a number of...
  24. 2000-01-01 Amazon.com Description Soil Biology Primer Authors: Dr. Elaine Ingham Andrew R. Moldenke & Clive A. Edwards Limited Availibility online. Buy it here NOW!! For farmers, ranchers, ag professionals, resource specialists, conservationists, soil scientists, students and educators. The Soil Biology...
  25. 1996-09-01 Amazon.com Description Indigenous soil and water conservation practices are rarely acknowledged in the design of conventional development projects. Instead, the history of soil and water conservation in Africa has been one of imposing external solutions without regard for local practice. There is...
  26. 2012-01-01 Amazon.com DescriptionStrong gradients of decreasing soil fertility are found in many regions of the world. Millions of smallholders are now facing this serious crisis which causes them lower crop yields, and many of these families also suffer from food insecurity. With the aim of promoting...
  27. Rating: 4.0 - 1 Vote
    2005-10-01 One of the most important things a farmer can do for his farm is to prevent soil erosion. One way to do so is by keeping soil covered, especially during the rainy season. Vegetative cover and high levels of soil organic matter are key. Below is a brief description of several vegetative or...
  28. 2012-11-14 The UNCCD estimates that over 250 million people are affected by land degradation, and about 1 billion people in over 100 countries are at risk. According to the WMO, 33% of the world’s land surface is vulnerable to land degradation.Degraded lands lead to overall reduced productivity and reduced...
  29. 2011-01-20 EDN 96, published in July 2007, featured an article by Danny Blank called “A Fresh Look at Life below the Surface.” The article, written after Danny attended a week-long workshop by Dr. Elaine Ingham, discussed composting and the importance of using it to build up the Soil Food Web—the community...
  30. Rating: 5.0 - 1 Vote
    This report describes and analyzes the soil distribution and characteristics of the main soil types in Mainland Southeast Asia (MSEA) that comprise the countries of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #30

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