Category Archive: Textbooks

Foth and Ellis: Soil Fertility

Soil Fertility by Henry D. Foth and Boyd G. Ellis

This book is a hard-to-find item because it is out of print. It provides perhaps the simplest explanations around for the basic science behind soil advising. To make much use of this book does require remembering the basics from high school inorganic chemistry.





This book has been written to serve as a text for a soil fertility course at the
j u n i o r – s e n i o r level and at the master’s level for students who have had an
introductory course in soil science and several basic science courses. We
have chosen to cover the most essential topics and not produce an all-inclusive
text to serve as a reference book. T h e treatment is an evolutionary one
which considers soils as dynamic, ever-changing bodies.
There has been major progress over the past three decades in the
accumulation of new knowledge and development of theories in the fields
of soil science, agronomy, plant physiology, and plant nutrition. Thus, the
production of this book has been an exciting challenge to integrate the most
recent information about soil fertility with the knowledge and theories
about weathering and soil evolution, mineralogy, exchange chemistry, soil
taxonomy, fertilizer technology, and plant growth and nutrition.
Soils are one of the world’s most important resources. We hope that
the information put forth in this book will help to increase the food supply
for the world’s expanding population.
We extend our special thanks to Mary Foth for the graphic art work
and to Nate Rufe for photographing the mineral models.
Henry D. Foth
Boyd G. Ellis
East Lansing, Michigan
June 1988

Weaver – Root Developments of Vegetable Crops

By John E. Weaver
Professor of Plant Ecology, University of Nebraska
William E. Bruner
Instructor in Botany, University of Nebraska


“The plant is the most important agent in crop production. Soils, cultivation,
fertilizers, irrigation, and other factors, in a sense, are all more or less subsidiary.
Soils are modified by cultivation, by adding manure or other fertilizers, by drainage or
irrigation, and in other ways with the express purpose of changing the environment so
as to stimulate plants to increased productivity. Hence, it is not surprising that from
time immemorial extended observations and, later, experiments have been made upon
the aerial growth of crops under varying conditions. In fact an almost bewildering
array of literature has resulted. But quite the converse is true of the underground parts.
The root development of vegetable crops has received relatively little attention, and
indeed accurate information is rarely to be found. The roots of plants are the least
known, least understood, and least appreciated part of the plant. This is undoubtedly
due to the fact that they are effectually hidden from sight. Notwithstanding the
extreme difficulty and tediousness of laying the roots bare for study, it is not only
remarkable but also extremely unfortunate that such investigations have been so long