The Fertile Triangle

The Interrelationship of Air, Water, and Nutrients in Maximizing Soil Productivity

By Benjamin Wolf

© 2012 – CRC Press

484 pages

Comp Exam Copy

About the Book

The critical growing information provided in The Fertile Triangle: The Interrelationship of Air, Water, and Nutrients in Maximizing Soil Productivity will allow you to reap the benefits of a successful crop. You will gain an in-depth understanding of the three major components (air, water, and nutrients) that determine crop yields, helping you become a better grower and/or advisor.

Dr. Benjamin Wolf has made a valuable contribution to growers and students alike with this comprehensive book written as a result of 50 years of experience consulting growers of numerous crops. You will discover many farm practices and other media (such as soil preparation, use of machinery, and correction of pH and salt levels) that affect the three growing components. Specifically, you will gain vital information about:

  • how to modify soils to maximize growing potential
  • soilless approaches that still provide maximum air, water, and nutrients
  • how air, water, and soil affect crop production
  • balances necessary for maximum growth
  • various farm practices and how they affect crop growth

    Soil fertility and crop production students, farmers, farm managers, consultants, extension personnel, and those who sell various agricultural chemicals used in soil supplements can profit from The Fertile Triangle's complete coverage of air, water, and nutrients in the production of crops and how these items are interrelated. Your new understanding of their importance, their close relationships, and how they are affected by various farm practices will allow you to utilize soil inputs to your full advantage with minimal harmful effects on crops, soils, or the environment.

Table of Contents

Contents Acknowledgments

  • Introduction
  • Section I: Sides of the Triangle
  • Chapter 1. Air
  • Oxygen
  • Soil Solution Oxygen
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Air Exchange
  • Soil Capacity for Holding or Exchanging Air
  • Summary
  • Chapter 2. Water
  • Water As Part of the Fertile Triangle
  • Water Fundamentals
  • Factors Affecting Water Storage and Use
  • Insufficient Water
  • Excess Water
  • Summary
  • Chapter 3. Nutrients
  • Important Elements
  • Insufficient Elements
  • Excess Nutrients
  • Providing the Essential Elements
  • Nonessential Elements of Importance
  • Summary
  • Section II: Characteristics of Soil or Other Media Affecting the Fertile Triangle
  • Chapter 4. Physical Properties
  • Influence of Physical Properties on the Fertile Triangle
  • Summary
  • Chapter 5. Organic Matter
  • Influence of Organic Matter on the Fertile Triangle
  • Beneficial Attributes of Organic Matter
  • Placement of Organic Matter As Mulch
  • Maintenance of Soil Organic Matter
  • Improving Soil Organic Matter
  • Benefits of Placing Organic Materials As Mulches
  • Harmful Effects of Organic Matter Additions
  • Summary
  • Chapter 6. Soil pH
  • Influence of Soil pH on the Fertile Triangle
  • Fundamentals of pH
  • The Importance of Soil pH
  • Primary Nutrients
  • Toxic Elements
  • Other Effects of pH
  • Acid Soils
  • Alkaline Soils
  • Correction of pH
  • Chapter 7. Cation Exchange Capacity and Anion Exchange
  • Influence of Cation Exchange Capacity on the Fertile Triangle
  • Fundamentals of CEC
  • Factors Affecting CEC
  • Percent Base Saturation
  • Cation Fixation
  • Anion Exchange
  • Summary
  • Chapter 8. Conductivity of Salts
  • Influence of Salts on the Fertile Triangle
  • Sources of Salts
  • Salts and Soil Textural Class
  • Measurement of Salts
  • Plant Tolerance to Salts
  • Summary
  • Section III: The Effects of Farm Practices on the Fertile Triangle
  • Chapter 9. Effects of Machinery
  • General Effects of Farm Equipment
  • Tillage Equipment
  • Conventional Tillage
  • Conservation or Reduced Tillage
  • Comparative Effects of Different Tillage Systems
  • Effects of Non-Tillage Machinery
  • Summary
  • Chapter 10. Adding Soil Organic Matter
  • Increasing the Amounts of Organic Materials Returned to the Soil
  • Adding Materials Not Produced in Place
  • Growing Organic Matter in Place
  • Placement of Organic Matter
  • Summary
  • Chapter 11. Regulating pH
  • Increasing Soil pH
  • High-pH Soils
  • Summary
  • Chapter 12. Regulating Salts
  • Low Salts
  • High Salts
  • Summary
  • Chapter 13. Reducing Damage from Excess Water
  • Regulating the Water Table
  • Correcting the Problem
  • Drainage
  • Summary
  • Section IV: Direct Input to Triangle Sides
  • Chapter 14. Adding Air
  • Aeration in Hydroponic Systems
  • Aggregate Cultures
  • Summary
  • Chapter 15. Adding Water
  • Determining the Need to Add Water
  • Water Quality
  • Clogging Problems
  • Irrigation Systems
  • Timing the Application
  • Application Rates
  • Summary
  • Chapter 16. Adding Nutrients
  • Nutrient Management
  • Soil and Plant Analyses to Guide the Fertilizer Program
  • Slow- or Quick -Release Nutrients
  • Organic versus Inorganic Nutrients
  • Fluid versus Dry
  • Fertilizer Ingredients
  • Methods of Application
  • Summary
  • Section V: Maximum Lengths of the Triangle Sides
  • Chapter 17. Maximizing the Sides
  • Modification of Field Soils
  • Modifying Soil or Using Amendments for Potting Mixes
  • Aeroponics and Hydroponics
  • Summary
  • Appendix 1: Important Soil, Plant, Water, and Fertilizer Elements; and Ions with Symbols, Atomic, and Equivalent Weights
  • Appendix 2: Common and Botanical Names of Plants
  • References
  • Index

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / General