Have you ever looked up the official Ontario fertilizer or liming recommendations? They’re featured in “look-up” tables in OMAFRA production guides, such as our Agronomy Guide for Field Crops (Publication 811), and provide rates for phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc and manganese, as well as lime, based on soil test values.
A new way to access Ontario fertilizer and liming recommendations
Sometimes it can be difficult to track down recommendations for different crops this way, as you flip through multiple guides or different sections of the same guide. Now, there’s a new, user-friendly way to access all Ontario fertilizer recommendations for field and vegetable crops! Soil Test Manager is the new one-stop shop for soil test interpretation and Ontario fertilizer recommendations. The web-based app is a product of Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association and can be found at soiltestmanager.ca.
How does it work?
Soil Test Manager allows you to select any field or vegetable crop, enter the results for OMAFRA-Accredited soil tests, and receive a full set of recommendations, including nitrogen rates for vegetable crops. You can then email the results to yourself. The app features interpretive information throughout, including a page called “Know Your Soil Test”, which provides key background information. Soil Test Manager has been designed to help walk you through your soil test so that you better understand what it means.
Recommendations in Soil Test Manager, like those in OMAFRA publications, are based on the sufficiency approach to fertilization, which provide an optimal rate for a given crop based on soil test value. They are not based on crop removal or a build-up and maintenance approach.
4R Nutrient Stewardship
The app also features 4R Calculators for phosphorus and nitrogen. Simply enter the timing and placement method you plan to use for your fertilizer application and receive a 0 to 4-star rating. A high rating means you’re applying the nutrient in a way that maximizes crop uptake and minimizes the risk for environmental losses; a low rating means the opposite. All ratings include an explanation.
Accessing the app
To access Soil Test Manager on your smartphone, tablet or laptop, simply go to soiltestmanager.ca. To have it function as an app on your mobile device, you can add the webpage to your home screen. Use Soil Test Manager as a quick reference guide or for a second opinion on fertilizer recommendations for your crops.
Soil Test Manager was funded by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.