Monday, 6 October 2008: 9:00 AM
George R. Brown Convention Center, 361DE
Div. A09, Professional Practition
By definition, Best Management Practices (BMPS) are designed for optimum crop production while protecting or enhancing the environment. Such practices must maintain or enhance the biological, physical and/or chemical characteristics of soils to sustain them for use for future generations. While use of BMP in our terminology is relatively recent in agrarian history, those that cultivate the soil have long known and used soil management practices that improve soil quality. Even though the U.S. was blessed with many soils of inherent high quality, improvements were needed on most to attain their full production potential and/or to remain productive for future generations. Soil quality has been defined as “the capacity of a specific kind of soil to function, within natural or managed ecosystem boundaries, to sustain plant and animal productivity, maintain or enhance water and air quality, and support human health and habitation”. Reactivity (pH), organic matter, and tilth are three of the most important soil characteristics that must be maintained to attain soil quality at its highest level. The focus of this paper will be on the effect of nutrient management and BMPS on reactivity, organic matter concentrations and quality, and tilth.