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Soil is the foundation upon which our natural living world depends; it is otherwise known as the dynamic material that civilization is built on (Lindbo, Kozlowski, and Robinson 2012). Soil serves diverse functions that are critical to the survival of humanity; without the soil, life on earth is inconceivable. It represents the critical zone of the earth where life, water, minerals, and air intersect and interact (fig. 1) because the soil constantly relates with other parts of nature. The soil is considered a living, dynamic resource at the earth’s surface and has been defined as “the unconsolidated mineral or organic material on the immediate surface of the earth that serves as a natural medium for the growth of land plants” (SSSA 2015). The thickness or depth of this surface or layer varies with the type and environment of the soil.
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
November 5, 2015