UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
Soil has proven to be a most valuable source of income for Wisconsin. The state has a land area of 34.8 million acres, 14.4 million of which are used to produce food and fiber. Wisconsin ranks first in the nation in the production of agricultural commodities such as cranberries, snap beans, corn for silage, and cheese. The importance of treating the soil with "love and respect" can not be underestimated.
With a growing world population and increased demand for food, the pressure on one of our most valuable natural resources, soil, is also increasing. It is therefore inevitable that we understand the importance of soil and explore ways to increase productivity without compromising soil and environmental health. The discipline of soil science explores the diverse role of soils and investigates ways to use the soil more sustainably.
Soil fertility is the ability of the soil to provide essential nutrients for growth and development of plants. The essential nutrients, their role in the plant, and the factors that affect their availability are discussed in detail in our course. Nutrient management decisions and tools that improve fertilizer use efficiency and decrease losses to the environment are also discussed. Students are thus equipped with the knowledge to be able to make nutrient management decisions that will benefit the crop, the land, and the environment at large.
Our students have various opportunities to engage in research and hands-on experiences. This website has been designed to showcase the research that our students conduct related to soil fertility and nutrient management.
Student Projects in Soil Fertility
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"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."