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Most textbooks on crop technology are object oriented. They have proved to be the most efficient way to convey knowledge from the experimental stations to the farmers. Experience obtained on food crops, oil palm, sugar cane has been condensed in specific publications dealing with a particular plant.

There is no such thing in soil science. Before the advent of a worldwide accepted classification system and precise definitions of soil units, all efforts to compile a reference book on the management properties of a given soil would have been lost.

The FAO legend of the Soil Map of the World has in part filled the gap created by the absence of an internationally accepted classification system. It has provided an adequate basis for gathering information on specific soils, and making it available to farmers.

Ferralsols have been selected as the first soil order for which a reference publication should be made; they occur in tropical regions, where communications and the transfer of knowledge has not kept pace with the rapid development, and the needs of growing populations. Hopefully this bulletin will serve the purpose of bringing technology to the people who most need it.

The present work is certainly incomplete. It is physically impossible to be informed about all the recent advances which have been made on the management of ferralsols. This compilation mainly deals with the management properties which are important for the production of annual crops. Plantation agriculture of tree crops has not been given emphasis, although it is felt that it is an important utilization of the soils under consideration. The principal objective of this review is thus oriented toward food production.

It has not been easy to verify the identity of many soils which are referred to in the literature on soil management of tropical soils. In many instances interesting data could not be used because there was no way to identify the soils; in most cases only those experiments were taken into account where through personal visits to the regions there was a reasonable chance that the experimental fields were located in ferralsols. Due to this restriction the text may seem biased to agronomists working in areas which are incompletely known to the present author.

Grateful acknowledgment is expressed to all scientists who made it possible to accomplish the present work. Even more to all investigators who will send criticism, and in this way contribute in the future to the preparation of a more complete and improved version.

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