Volume 3 (2010) - Letter From The Editors

It is with great pleasure that we present the third issue of the publication "Prairie Soils and Crops: Scientific Perspectives for Innovative Management". The theme of this issue is "Agricultural Soils of the Prairies" with emphasis on the Canadian Prairies. In order to make this issue possible, we invited Dr Darwin Anderson of the Department of Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan to co-edit this issue. His soil science expertise has proved very beneficial.

Our goal was to provide readers with a global perspective regarding arable soils and the predominate soil types associated with these soils. We also wanted to make readers aware of the distribution of arable land by continents and select countries, and at the same time provide an overall assessment of the current health level of global soils. We want to make sure that readers understand the importance of good land stewardship to ensure that our soils provide future generations with food, feed, fuel and fibre.

The remaining portion of the issue focuses on two aspects. First, we look at some of the basic soil biological and physical properties of soil with emphasis on describing what makes a healthy soil and what producers can do to enhance the health of their soils. Next, we provide a detailed description of the major cultivated soils on the prairies with emphasis on their production potential and limitations.

We have also started working on the fourth and fifth issues. The fourth issue will focus on major plant diseases and insect pests. The fifth issue will provide an overview of the findings from various long-term agronomic studies conducted in Western Canada during the last hundred years.

We encourage you to send us feedback (via email ) on these issues and possible ideas/themes for future issues. If some of you have opinions to share, we may consider including them in the future.

Editors: Guy P. Lafond1 and K. Neil Harker2 and Darwin Anderson3

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

3Department of Soil Science
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, SK
Email: darwin.anderson@usask.ca