About the Specialized Soil Amendments Issue
The use of fertilizer and soil amendments is critical to profitable production of agronomic and horticultural crops in the US. There is a large research base available evaluating the use of traditional fertilizers and soil amendments, documenting the economic and environmental impacts of their use. However, non-conventional products for agriculture, including some soil amendments, growth stimulants, or soil fertility management programs are often promoted and sold on the premise of replacing or extending the efficacy of standard crop production inputs, but without an extensive research base supporting their use. For stakeholders to make informed decisions regarding use of these products or programs, they must have access to information that provides fair and scientifically valid evaluation of these products or programs. Without such information, stakeholders may invest in products or programs which are of little or no value to them, or may be inappropriate for their climate, soils, or cropping system, or may reduce crop production, or may have detrimental environmental impact.