Canadian prairie soils: historical perspective by Henry Janzen

A fascinating and detailed paper by Henry Janzen of the Lethbridge research station in Alberta. Early researchers noted a loss of organic matter and nitrogen availability upon cultivation.

"Now, as a new century begins, may be a good time to reflect on the future of Soil Science on the Canadian prairies. One way to do that is to step back about one hundred years, to the turn of the previous century when our grassland soils were first cultivated. What questions perplexed scientists then? And how did they look for answers? My objective is to listen for our forebears’ thoughts in their writings, now largely buried. From this historical vantage may emerge insights, not only into where our science has been, but also into where it might yet go."

Download PDF here, about 80K. Right click and choose save target (link) as . . .