Date of this Version



© 1931, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


The agricultural lands of this country are its greatest natural resource. History points out that nations with vast areas of good farm land are most likely to prosper and survive over long periods of time. Local communities, too, prosper and flourish in proportion to the productiveness of the surrounding land. Schools, social life, and business develop best in areas where the land is productive and properly managed and conserved.

Nebraska, in common with other states, has suffered by the depletion of soil fertility. The reduction in acres in legumes and grasses, and the deplation of the organic matter in the surface soils, has likewise had its effect on the run-off of precipitation, soil blowing, and damage from drouth.

In order to know what elements of fertility may become deficient and how soil fertility may be restored and maintained, we should understand the composition, character, and management of soils. In the following pages, some fundamentals of soil feritlity are given, followed later by a discussion of practical soil-management practices.