280 pages, 191 colour photos, 60 illustrations
Our capacity to maintain world food production depends heavily on the thin layer of soil covering the Earth's surface. The health of this soil determines whether crops can grow successfully, whether a farm business is profitable and whether an enterprise is sustainable in the long term. Farmers are generally aware of the physical and chemical factors that limit the productivity of their soils but often do not recognise that soil microbes and the soil fauna play a major role in achieving healthy soils and healthy crops.
Soil Health, Soil Biology, Soilborne Diseases and Sustainable Agriculture provides readily understandable information about the bacteria, fungi, nematodes and other soil organisms that not only harm food crops but also help them take up water and nutrients and protect them from root diseases. Complete with illustrations and practical case studies, it provides growers and their consultants with holistic solutions for building an active and diverse soil biological community capable of improving soil structure, enhancing plant nutrient uptake and suppressing root pests and pathogens.
The book is written by scientists with many years' experience developing sustainable crop production practices in the grains, vegetable, sugarcane, grazing and horticultural industries.
Soil Health, Soil Biology, Soilborne Diseases and Sustainable Agriculture will be useful for: growers, consultants, agronomists and soil chemists, extension personnel working in the grains, livestock, sugarcane and horticultural industries, professionals running courses in soil health/biological farming, and students taking university courses in soil science, ecology, microbiology, plant pathology and other biological sciences.
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Dr. Graham Stirling, with his wife Marcelle, runs a company that provides research and disease diagnostic services to Australia's rural industries. His areas of expertise are Plant Pathology, Nematology and Soil Ecology. In a career spanning 45 years, he has worked on many of the crops grown in Australia and published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers.
Dr. Helen Hayden is a Soil Microbial Ecologist at the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources in Victoria, Australia. She completed her PhD at the University of Queensland, specialising in diseases of bananas, and her recent research has been on disease suppressive soils for Rhizoctonia in cereals.
Dr. Tony Pattison is the Principal Nematologist and Soil Health team leader for horticulture within the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Australia where he investigates plant-parasitic nematodes and soil health in a diverse range of tropical horticultural crops. His interest in soil ecology and disease suppression currently focuses on competition for carbon within the soil.
Dr. Marcelle Stirling is a Plant Pathologist and Microbiologist and has worked on many aspects of soil biology. Her research career began at the University of California, Riverside, USA where she studied nematode-trapping fungi. Together with Graham, she now provides research and plant disease diagnostic services to Australia's rural industries.