Preserving soil fertility is crucial for sustainable agriculture and forestry. The Foundation for Swedish Plant Nutrition Research (SV), associated with the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (KSLA), has been working with this in focus during its 50 years of activity. In order to manifest this, the conference Food and Wood for a sustainable Future – Challenges for Soil Fertility Management was organised. Competent keynote speakers and distinguished lecturers were invited. We are much obliged to all of them and particularly to the speakers from foreign countries, Professor Eric Smaling from the Netherlands and Dr A. E. Johnston from the United Kingdom.
The main reason for establishing the Foundation was that plant nutrition research in Sweden in the beginning of the 1950s was restrained by limited resources. Soil fertility scientists repeatedly challenged the fertiliser industry for research funds. After an investigation made by the director of the National Swedish Agricultural Institute, professor Erik Åkerberg, the three Swedish fertiliser companies established the Foundation in 1954 in order to “make clear” the rational use of fertilisers, particularly the chemical fertilisers. Its first chairperson was Professor Robert Torssell, Secretary General of KSLA. Since then the fertiliser industry and sometimes other interested organisations have yearly contributed to the Foundation. It is easy to find that many things have changed when looking into the past 50 years. It is much more difficult to foresee what will happen the next 50 years. One way to get an idea of the future is a conference like this one, where distinguished and forward looking experts contribute.
KSLAT no. 12-2005 in print is unfortunately sold out.