Soil and plant testing programs are still based on ‘trial and error’ methods and lack scientific underpinning in terms of relevant soil chemical and plant nutritional processes, and are site-specific. The programs are valuable when the objective is to diagnose and predict deficiencies of plant nutrients. The programs are less valuable for refined fertilizer strategies, like Integrated Nutrient Management, which are essential in the near future to satisfy changing agricultural, environmental, economic and legislative boundary conditions. A more scientific approach to soil and plant testing programs appears desirable. To reduce undesirable side-effects of fertilization on the environment, more emphasis should be placed on fertilizer type and on timing and method of application. [Article copies available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service: 1–800–342–9678. E-mail address: [email protected]]