Soils with the highest natural yield from soil fertility must not produce the highest yield from additional investments such as from seeds, fertilizer, biocides, soil tillage and irrigation. In view of modern ways of soil use it is necessary to distinguish the yields achieved solely from natural soil properties, and yields achieved from soil properties which transform investments into yields. That means that soil fertility and soil productivity are terms which designate different properties of soils.
Mainly low income regions of the world can not pay for investments into soils. Their prosperity is dependent on soil fertility. Opposite to this rich regions can make use of the transformation properties of soils for yields and services by investments.
There will be an enormous pressure on the natural resource soil in the future for which we have to define the status of soils in view of their potential for use on different economic levels.
For soil scientists the Humboldt Universitaet is a magnificent place to highlight soils and their properties at least for two reasons:
The Humboldt Universitaet was established by the statesman Wilhelm von Humboldt. His brother Alexander von Humboldt (1769 - 1859) is famous for his many research trips to South America and Russia. From this experience he established the theory of dependence of vegetation from climate. This idea inspired the great Russian soil scientist Dokuchaev to his theory of zonality of soils of the world due to climate differences.
The second particular reason to go to Berlin is Albrecht Thaer (1752-1828). His work is close related to the conference thematic Soil Fertility and Soil Productivity. Albrecht Thaer discovered the importance of soil organic matter content for soil fertility and inspired the former Prussian State to make strong use of it to improve the food supply of population from the often poor sandy soils. The Albrecht Thaer Hall of the Humboldt Universitaet recalls Abrecht Thaers great merits for improving farming all over the world until today.
The Humboldt Universitaet was founded in Berlin in 1810. The foundation concept of unity of teaching and research forwarded by Wilhelm von Humboldt made the university to the "mother of all modern universities". The Humboldt Universitaet celebrates in 2010 its 200 years anniversary. The Humboldt Universitaet invites soil scientist to take part at this big event.