What is soil health, how do we measure it, and why the emphasis on soil biology?

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2017-12-01
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McDaniel, Marshall
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Proceedings of the Integrated Crop Management Conference
Iowa State University Conferences and Symposia

The Iowa State University Integrated Crop Management Conference is Iowa's premier crop production education event. No other program in Iowa brings together the diverse range of topics, slate of expert presenters and results of the latest University research.

The ICM Conference offers workshops focusing on the latest in crop production technology. Experts from Iowa and surrounding states will provide research updates and results in soil fertility, soil and water management, crop production and pest management.

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The current interest in soil health is largely due to increased awareness of the importance of soil biology. While there are a variety of biological soil health indices, there is currently no consensus among scientists. The current soil health tests are relatively expensive and show inconsistent results amongst management practices. Further research into calibrating and validating all soil health indicators is needed, especially for biological indicators.

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