Plant Nutrition and Soil Fertility Manual  book cover
2nd Edition

Plant Nutrition and Soil Fertility Manual

ISBN 9781439816097
Published February 13, 2012 by CRC Press
304 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

As soil and crop management procedures have become more complex, County Agricultural Agents, farm advisors, consultants, and fertilizer and chemical dealers have had to specialize in some aspect of soil fertility and crop nutrition management procedures, limiting their ability to provide a range of advice and services. Most farmers and growers can no longer turn to just one source for the information and instruction needed to achieve their production goals.

With over 70 percent new material, the second edition of the Plant Nutrition and Soil Fertility Manual discusses the principles determining how plants grow and the elements essential for successful crop production, with a focus on the principles of soil fertility and plant nutrition. The book covers physical and chemical properties of soil, chemical and organic fertilizers, soil acidity and alkalinity, liming and liming materials, and micronutrients essential to plant growth. It also describes elements toxic to plants, soil testing, and plant analysis.

The topics and discussion in this self-contained book are practical and user-friendly, yet comprehensive enough to cover material presented in upper-level soil and plant science courses. It allows practitioners with general background knowledge to feel confident applying the principles presented to soil/crop production systems.

Table of Contents

Section I
Management Requirements
Productivity Factors
Climatic Factors
Moving Up the Yield Scale
Product Quality
Soil Fertility Principles
Fertile Soil Defined
Making and Keeping a Soil "Fertile"
Biological Factors
An "Ideal Soil"
Soil Fertility Management Concepts
Multiple Factor Yield Influence
Soil Condition Related to Deficiency in a Major Element and Micronutrient
Elemental Content of the Soil and Soil Solution
Plant Nutrition Principles
The Function of Plants
Determination of Essentiality
Essential Element Content in Plants
Classification of the Thirteen Essential Mineral Elements
Role of the Essential Plant Nutrient Elements
Plant Nutrient Element Sources
Element Absorption and Translocation
Elemental Accumulation
Element Absorption and Plant Genetics
Diagnostic Plant Symptoms of Essential Plant Nutrient Element Insufficiencies
The Plant Root
Root Function
Root Hairs
Lateral Roots
The Rhizosphere
Root Ion Absorption
Root Crops
How to be a Diagnostician
The Diagnostic Approach
Being a Diagnostician
Diagnostic Factors
Evaluating Diagnostic Procedures
Weather Conditions
Factors Affecting Essential Nutrient Element Concentrations in Plants
Plant (Crop) Wilting
Certified Crop Advisor Programs

Section II: Physical and Physiochemical Characteristics of Soil
Soil Taxonomy, Horizontal Characteristics, and Clay Minerals
Soil Orders (U.S. System of Soil Taxonomy)
Designations for Soil Horizons and Layers
Physical Properties of Soils
Textural Classification
Soil Separates or Primary Soil Separates
Soil Separate Properties
Soil Texture Characterization Definitions
Soil Structure
Tillage Practices
Water-Holding Capacity
Physiochemical Properties of Soil
Soil Separate Properties
Major Phyllosilicate Minerals in Soils
Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) of a Soil Based on Texture
Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) Determination of a Soil
Anion Exchange Capacity
Soil pH: Its Determination and Interpretation
Causes of Soil Acidity
Water pH Determination of Mineral Soil, Organic Soil, and Organic Soilless Rooting Media
pH Determination using a Calibrated pH Meter
Other Soil pH Determination Procedure
Salt pH Determination for a Mineral Soil
pH Interpretation: Mineral Soil
pH Interpretation: Organic Soils
pH Interpretation: Organic Soilless Medium
Soil pH Constancy
Plant Root Function
Soil Acidity and NPK Fertilizer Efficiency
Soil pH Effect on Elemental Availability and/or Soil Solution Composition
Soil Buffer pH
pH Determination of Water
Soil Organic Matter
Definitions of Soil Organic Matter and Its Components
Soil Organic Matter Characteristics
Methods of Soil Organic Matter Determination
Management Requirements for High Organic Matter Content Soils
Adverse Affects of Organic Matter Additions

Section III: Plant Elemental Requirements and Associated Elements
Major Essential Plant Elements
Methods of Expression
Established Date for Essentiality/Researchers
Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen
Major Essential Element Properties
Micronutrients Considered Essential to Plants
Established Date for Essentiality/Researchers
Content and Function
Soil and Plant Species Associations
Micronutrient Characteristics
Micronutrient Properties
Possible Additional Essential Micronutrients
Elements Considered Beneficial to Plants
The A to Z Nutrient Solution
Elements Essential for Animals
Basis for Essentiality for Beneficial Elements
Potential Essential Elements
"New" Beneficial Elements
Element Substitution
Form of Response
Elements Considered Toxic to Plants
The Nature of Elemental Toxicity
Aluminum and Copper Toxicity
Other Elements
Plant Species Factor
The Heavy Metals
Trace Elements Found in Plants
Elements Categorized as Trace Elements
High Soil Content Elements
Availability Factors
Accumulator Plants and Elements
Symbiotic Element

Section IV: Methods of Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition Assessment
Soil Testing
Field Sampling
Soil Laboratory Selection
Laboratory Soil Testing Procedures
Interpretation of a Soil Test Result
Soil Test Result Tracking (Monitoring)
Liming and Fertilizer Use Strategies
Plant Analysis and Tissue Testing
Plant Analysis Objectives
Sequence of Procedures
Sampling Techniques
Plant Tissue Handling, Preparation, and Analysis
Methods of Interpretation
Word Classification of Elemental Concentrations
As a Diagnostic Technique
Experience Required
Data Logging/Tracking of Plant Analyses
Utilization of Plant Analyses for Nutrient Element Management
Tissue Testing
Indirect Evaluation Procedures

Section V: Amendments for Soil Fertility Maintenance
Lime and Liming Materials
Liming Terms
Liming Materials
Liming Materials and Their Calcium Carbonate Equivalent (CCE)
Mesh Size
Quality Factor Designation
Lime Requirement (LR)
Soil Test Ratio of Ca to Mg Determines Form of Limestone to Apply
Liming Rate Determined by Acidifying Effect of Fertilizer
"Lime Shock"
Lime Incorporation
Depth of Incorporation
Subsoil pH
Inorganic Chemical Fertilizers and Their Properties
Fertilizer Terminology
Characteristics of the Major Elements as Fertilizer
Conversion Factors for the Major Essential Fertilizer Elements
Characteristics of the Micronutrients as Fertilizer
The Physical and Chemical Properties of Fertilizers
Naturally Occurring Inorganic Fertilizers
Organic Fertilizers and Their Properties
Composted Animal Manures
Animal Manure Major Element Composition
Other Organic Materials
Soil and Plant Factors
Fertilizer Placement
Methods of Fertilizer Placement
Soil Water, Irrigation, and Water Quality
Soil Water Terminology
Soil Factors Affecting Soil Water-Holding Capacity and Movement
Irrigation Methods
Irrigation Water Quality
Water Treatment Procedures
What is Water?

Section VI: Methods of Soilless Plant Production
Hydroponics Defined
Historical Events
Hydroponic Techniques
Hydroponic Growing Systems
Rooting Media
Water Quality
The Nutrient Solution
Reagents and Nutrient Solution Formulations
Concentration Range and Ratios
pH Interpretation-Hydroponic Nutrient Solution
Reconstitution of the Nutrient Solution
Accumulation of Nutrient Elements and Precipitates
Soilless Rooting and/or Growing Media
Soilless Media Ingredients
Soilless Media Formulations
Physical Properties
Physiochemical Properties
Control of pH
Use Formulations
Bag Culture Systems
"Fertility" Determination Procedure for an Organic Soilless Mix

Section VII: Miscellaneous
Organic Farming/Gardening
Chemicalization of Crop Production
"Organically Grown" Defined
Suitable Inorganic Fertilizer Materials
Suitable Organic Fertilizers
Organic Soil Fertility Management
Soil Physical Properties
Food Safety and Quality Issues
Weather and Climatic Conditions
Climatic Factors
Weather as a Diagnostic Factor
Best Management Practices (BMPs)
Best Management Practice Application Broadened
Best Practice
Important Protocol Considerations
Precision Farming
Section Appendices
Formulation and Use of Soil Extraction Reagents
Preparation Procedures and Elemental Content Determination for Plant Tissue
Weights and Measures
Reference Books and Texts

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Dr. J. Benton Jones has written extensively on the topics of soil fertility and plant nutrition over his professional career. After obtaining a B.S. degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Illinois, he served on active duty in the U.S. Navy for two years. After discharge from active duty, he entered graduate school, obtaining M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Pennsylvania State University in agronomy. For 10 years, Dr. Jones held the position as research professor at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster. During this time, his research activities focused on the relationship between soil fertility and plant nutrition. In 1967, he established the Ohio Plant Analysis Laboratory.

Joining the University of Georgia faculty in 1968, Dr. Jones designed and had built the Soil and Plant Analysis Service Laboratory building for the Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, serving as its Director for 4 years. During the period from 1972 and his retirement in 1989, Dr. Jones held various research and administrative positions at the University of Georgia. Following retirement, he and a colleague established Micro-Macro Laboratory in Athens, Georgia, a laboratory providing analytical services for the assay of soils and plant tissues as well as water, fertilizers, and other similar agricultural substances.

Dr. Jones was the first President of the Soil and Plant Analysis Council and then served as its Secretary-Treasurer for a number of years. He established two international scientific journals, Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis and the Journal of Plant Nutrition, serving as their Executive Editors during the early years of publication.

Dr. Jones is considered an authority on applied plant physiology and the use of analytical methods for assessing the nutrient element status of rooting media and plants as a means for ensuring plant nutrient element sufficiency in both soil and soilless crop production settings.


Praise for the First Edition

"This book has the admirable quality of being both organized to facilitate rapid look-up of information and being written in a readable style."
The Growing EDGE (out of print)