Soil is a very important resource for arable farmers and we do everything we can to ensure it remains in good condition.  There are three aspects of soil that need to be considered in order to grow healthy crops.

1. Nutrient content
Crops require a wide range of different nutrients but the three most important ones are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) and together they are known as fertiliser.  Fertiliser can be spread before crops are sown or on the crops whilst they are growing in the autumn and early spring.  Other nutrients such as magnesium (Mg) are used by crops in much smaller quantities and usually soils have a plentiful supply of these.  We test the nutrient content of our soils every 3 years by taking a soil sample from each 1 hectare block of cropped land.  These data are then used in a Geographical Positioning System (GPS) to spread fertiliser where it is required.  These nutrient maps show pH, K, P and Mg content for the soil in one of our fields and have been created using the soil sample results and GPS grid references.

2. Organic matter content
The higher the level of organic matter in the soil the better the condition.  It will hold water better and is easier to cultivate and create a good seed bed for sowing crops.  Our soils contain a high proportion of clay and do not naturally have a high organic matter content.  However, we do sometimes incorporate organic matter, in the form of straw from the crop, back into the soil to increase the organic matter content. 

3. Soil structure
The best below ground environment for plant roots is a soil that has an even distribution of minute air spaces.  This enables the roots to access nutrients and water from the soil efficiently.  In order to maintain good soil structure it is important not to run heavy vehicles on the ground during wet conditions as this causes compaction of the soil.  Sometimes using heavy vehicles in wet conditions cannot be avoided but then remedial action is required.



GPS Potassium
  GPS Phosphorus
GPS Magnesium
GPS fertiliser spreader

LE15 8DH

01664 454401
07919 353352


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