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Understanding soils and their relationship to the environment is increasing in importance as we learn more about the environment in which we live. Soils are important in crop production, in serving as a buffer in the environment, as a building medium, and in a multitude of other applications. In the third edition of this manual, new materials addressing specific environmental concerns related to crop production and groundwater supplement the exercises from previous editions. Flexibility in the exercises allows the instructor and students to tailor applications to local resources and conditions. The materials included give substantial meaning to otherwise abstract topics such as soil profiles and horizons, soil texture, cation exchange capacity, nitrate leaching, and non-point source pollution. Students will gain an understanding of how much water a soil can hold, how rapidly soluble materials such as nitrates may leach through a given soil, how much lime a soil may need, and how much soil loss can be tolerated. These exercises provide a basic understanding of soils and serve as background material for students who will take advanced courses in soils. This text is an ideal supplement to regular class work in an introductory soils course.
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Robert G. Palmer is Manager of Agronomy Service Support at Pioneer Hi-Bred International in Tipton, Indiana. His publications include professional articles in the area of soil management and conservation, four previous versions of this manual, and crop managament and other guides developed for use by agronomists in the field.
Frederick R. Troeh is Professor of Agronomy at Iowa State University where he has taught since 1963. His publications include, professional journal articles in the area of soil science, four previous versions of this manual, several versions of a laboratory manual for the course in soil fertility, three editons of Soils and Soil Fertility, a textbook for introductory soils course, and two editions of Soil and Water Conservation, a textbook for the course in soil conservation.
"A good introductory soils lab manual. It will be an important reference for teachers and students in introductory soils."--Robert Darmody, University of Illinois
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