Agriculture in the United States is in the midst of a major transition motivated by economic and environmental factors. These include water quality and quantity, soil erosion, and the compatibility of agricultural production practices and the quality of the environment. Within the context of this change, U.S. agricultural policy seeks to balance several objectives including an abundance of food and fiber at reasonable prices, economic security for agricultural producers, and conservation of natural resources. Agricultural chemical use and soil and water quality degradation associated with agricultural production are significant among the environmental problems confronting the United States. In fact, these are now perceived as environmental problems comparable to other environmental problems such as air quality deterioration and the release of toxic pollutants from industrial sources. While the growth of agricultural chemical use is an integral part of the technological revolution in agriculture that has generated major changes in production techniques, uncertainties about the health effects of agricultural chemicals are very important concerns. Severe soil degradation from erosion, compaction, or salinization can destroy the productive capacity of the soil. It can also impair water quality from sediment and agricultural chemicals. This important new book looks at both of these significant issues - the relationship between agricultural chemical use and the environment and the relationship between soil and water quality degradation associated with agricultural production and the environment.