Volume 1 (2008) - Letter From The Editors

It is with great pleasure that we present the first issue of the new publication "Prairie Soils and Crops: Scientific Perspectives for Innovative Management". The theme of the first issue is "Agriculture and its Impact on the Environment" with emphasis on the Canadian Prairies. The articles document the overall contributions of Prairie agriculture to greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, and more specifically, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions. Suggestions for mitigation strategies are provided to help producers adjust their current management practices to minimize the production of these various greenhouse gases. The ratio of energy produced to energy consumed by cropping systems, as well as the economic implications of producing crops for fuel, is outlined. An article about the safety of our food system has also been included because feedback from stakeholders indicated a need to discuss food safety with reference to primary food production on the Prairies.

Producers are inundated on a daily basis with information on a wide range of topics and often this information is contradictory. This, in turn, makes decision-making more difficult for producers since additional effort is required to separate good information from bad. The main intent of this publication is to provide Prairie agricultural researchers and other experts the opportunity to write invited articles on various topics and provide an unbiased scientific opinion on a range of topics. The articles are referenced with the most pertinent scientific papers to allow the reader the opportunity to learn more about the topic. The articles are concise and the style of writing non-scientific and popular in nature. In adopting this style, we want to make it available to the public at large, but specifically to those interested in learning more about issues facing Prairie agriculture. Ultimately, we want to make world-class agricultural research on the Canadian prairies more accessible to everyone.

In order to save on costs, the articles will be published electronically through the internet at the following address: www.prairiesoilsandcrops.ca . A limited number of copies of the first issue will be printed for promotional purposes. The first issue will be complimentary but future issues will carry a subscription fee.

We are already working on the second issue to be published in February, 2009, the theme of which will be "Weed Management on the Prairies". We encourage you to send us, via email, feedback and ideas/themes for future issues.

Editors: Guy P. Lafond1 and K. Neil Harker2

1Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Indian Head Research Farm
Indian Head, SK

2Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Lacombe Research Center
Lacombe, AB
Email: neil.harker@agr.gc.ca