A Masters Thesis by Gregg A. Young
Category: Soils General
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
An excellent article on testing calcareous soils by Brian Whitlark
“Well-established soil testing methods on soils containing calcium carbonate or
gypsum often underestimate fertilizer and soil amendment requirements.”
By William A. Albrecht,
Published by the author, 1958. Public Domain material.
” “All flesh is grass,” were the words by which a prophetic pre-
Christian scholar revealed his vision of how the soil, by growing the
crops, can serve in creating animals and man. It duplicates to a
fairly good degree any concepts we have even now of the many
natural performances in the assembly line which starts with the soil
to give what we call agricultural production. We know that the soil
grows grass; that the grass feeds our livestock; and that these
animals, in turn as meats, are our choice protein foods. Along the
same thought line we may well consider the geological, the
chemical, the biochemical and the biological performances by
which the numerous streams of life take off from the soil and
continue to flow through the many healthy species of plants and
animals. We can, therefore, connect our soil with our health via
nutrition. Since only the soil fertility, or that part of the soil made up
of the elements essential for life, enters into the nutrition by which
we are fed, we may well speak of animal health as premised on the
by V. A. Tiejens
“JESUS’ FEEDING the Philistines with five loaves of bread and two
fishes was considered a miracle. If the Bible is true to facts, this
gives us something to think about. However, to grow 200 bushels
of corn where only 65 bushels grew before is no less a miracle,
because it means that we can feed three times as many people.
This yield can mean life or death for millions of earth’s inhabitants,
and can postpone the day of reckoning for several generations.”