OMAFRA REPORT: Accessing fertilizer recommendations

A weekly report prepared by the staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). If you require further information, regarding this report, call the Elora Resource Centre at 519-846-0941.  Office hours: 8:30am to 4:30pm.  For technical information, call the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or visit the OMAFRA website:

April 17, 2020


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

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. Soil Test Manager has been designed to help walk you through a soil test so that you better understand what it means.

Recommendations in Soil Test Manager 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. All ratings include an explanation.

To access Soil Test Manager on your smartphone, tablet or laptop, simply go to To have it function as an app on your mobile device, you can add the webpage to your home screen.

Soil Test Manager was funded by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Written by Jake Munroe, Soil Fertility Specialist – Field Crops, OMAFRA