About Us | Help Videos | Contact Us | Subscriptions



This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 104 No. 2, p. 493-496
    Received: Aug 29, 2011

    * Corresponding author(s): rich.zobel@ars.usda.gov


Inherent Agricultural Constraints in Allegheny Plateau Soils

  1. Richard W. Zobel *
  1. USDA -ARS, Appalachian Farming Systems Research Center, 1224 Airport Rd., Beaver, WV 25813. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer


World population increases demand increased agricultural production. This can be accomplished through improved cultivars and production techniques or increased use of previously marginal agricultural regions. In the Allegheny Plateau (AP) region of the Appalachian Mountains, acid soils with toxic levels of Al and Mn predominate. Technologies to successfully ameliorate these conditions, such as liming which has been used successfully in other regions and the world, have been restricted to the top 5 cm of the AP acid soils when applied as a surface treatment or within 5cm of the bottom of the stirred soil layer when incorporated. The subsoils remain unaffected by these treatments, subjecting crops to Al, Mn, and hydronium ion toxicity, and to frequent drought because of the inability of roots to penetrate the additional reserves of moisture in the subsoils. Unless ameliorating factors that move into the subsoils are identified, or plants tolerant to these soils are developed, the small farmers, family gardeners, and urban agriculturists will continue to be net agricultural importers at best.

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

Copyright © 2012. Copyright © 2012 by the American Society of Agronomy, Inc.