Soil science has to move with the times
It was in reaction to these commercialized technological innovations that Bouma addressed the implications for soil science during a staff colloquium last Thursday, November 16th. In his presentation Bouma explained that the basis upon which soil maps are drawn will have to change. Traditional soil maps were soil data driven, and needed interpretation by experts. However, soils which are identical from a pedological view may be quite different from a functional point of view. In order to keep up with the new developments, more detailed application driven maps are needed. Besides spatial variety, variety in time also needs to be taken into account. Soils change as a function of the management they receive. The predictability of the weather is also an important factor in fine-tuning agricultural practice. Bouma suggests that if meteorological data can be incorporated, this might eventually lead to the establishment of a comprehensive data base. Bouma has his doubts about
the viability of such a data base, but believes that it is worth trying.