Soil Fertility Handbook publication cover

Executive summary

The Soil Fertility Handbook, Publication 611 provides growers, advisors and researchers with a comprehensive handbook on the principles of effective nutrient management and soil fertility.

Soil fertility is the basis of agricultural production and involves planting strategies and sampling soils to ensure a sound understanding of the soils, nutrients and their interactions which will affect the success of the crops.

The Soil Fertility Handbook includes concepts such as:

  • the nature of soils
  • soil components
  • nutrients
  • soil pH
  • soil acidification
  • sampling soil
  • soil analysis
  • organic nutrient sources
  • fertilizer materials
  • application of fertilizer

This 250-page handbook includes illustrations, diagrams and figures to help growers to understand soil fertility and nutrient management. It contains information about:

  • soil horizons
  • primary and secondary nutrients
  • micronutrients
  • limestone quality
  • sampling plant tissue and manure
  • testing for organic matter
  • nutrient management planning
  • environmental concerns
  • developing fertilizer recommendations

How to order

To order a print copy of this or other OMAFRA publications, visit Publications Ontario.

Please note that Publications Ontario does not accept orders via phone or email.

For more general information, questions, or comments contact:

ServiceOntario Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.


If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact We will:

  • acknowledge your request within 3 business days
  • provide you with the content within 15 business days