The three favourite soil science books of:

Tony Young (UK)

For clear, concise writing, without jargon, G. V. Jacks Soil (Nelson, Edinburgh, UK, 1954) comes first. Even the title could not be more concise! Then as a former soil surveyor, allow me to class as a book one of the classic maps and accompanying reports. Geoffrey Milne s A provisional soil map of East Africa (Amani Memoirs, Tanganyika, 1936) is a mind-blowing achievement from the days before air photography, a huge addition to soil science and geographical knowledge.

Harder to pick number three. Nye and Greenland , The soil under shifting cultivation (CAB, Harpenden, UK, 1960), still being cited as a basic source on organic matter? One of the first Soil map of Africa compiled by Julius d Hoore (CCTA, Lagos, 1964)? The clarity of Rudy Dudal s Dark clay soils of tropical and subtropical regions (FAO, Rome, 1965)? Peter Ahn s West African soils (Oxford UP, 1970), obviously written by someone with a close field knowledge of soils and their agricultural management? Or Philippe Duchaufour s Precis de p dologie (Masson, Paris, 1977), comprehensive but always clear?

No, let me settle for another classic of good writing, Robin Clarke s The study of the soil in the field (Clarendon, Oxford , UK ), first published in 1936 and so readable that it ran to five editions over a period of 35 years.

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Page created: 22.02.2015 | Page updated: 22.02.2015

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