In this study, the data of fertility indicators of soil samples (0–20 cm) in 1980s, 2000 and 2015 in Chenzhou city were used, and the soil integrated fertility index (IFI) was calculated. The results showed that the soil pH was decreased, total nitrogen (TN), organic matter (OM), available phosphorus (AP) and potassium (AK), exchangeable calcium (Ca 2+ ), magnesium (Mg 2+ ) and available copper (Cu) contents were increased, total phosphorus (TP), available sulfur (S) and water-soluble chlorine (Cl − ) contents were decreased, total potassium (TK), available boron (B), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn) were decreased first and then increased. In 2015, most of the fields were higher in pH, OM, TN, AN, AK, Ca 2+ , Mg 2+ , S, Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn, suitable in B, but lower in TP, AP, TK, available molybdenum (Mo) and Cl − . Most of the fields were in the middle grade of IFI in 2000 and 2015, and the mean IFI increased from 0.492 to 0.556 from 2000 to 2015. Thus, for soil improvement, more attention should be paid to adjust soil pH, reduce the application of organic, nitrogen and calcium fertilizers, while increase the fertilizer application of other nutrients.