In sustainable agriculture, soil health and quality are recognized as key to producing bountiful and nutritious food. A thorough understanding of the nature, properties, and ecology of soil are therefore necessary to the design and management of agroecosystems in which the long-term fertility and productive capacity of the soil is maintained, or even improved. This understanding begins with knowledge of how soil is formed and includes integration of all biological, chemical and physical factors, as well as components that determine soil quality and contribute to the structure and function of the entire soil ecosystem. From this foundation, students will then study how to assess soil quality and how to develop appropriate soil and soil fertility management plans using organic production methods. Lecture three hours, laboratory two hours.
Fall 2019, Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2016