Improving the overall sustainability of the land you manage is vital to reaping maximum yield. Unfortunately, there are many myths and misconceptions about soil health that can actually hinder the efforts of farm managers to improve soil quality. This article will highlight some of these and offer simple suggestions to improve soil quality.
The success of your farming business depends in large part on the quality of your soil. This is why soil improvement is such an important concern for farmers. Not all soil types are suitable for arable farming. In Europe we are lucky to have access to some of the best crop growing soils in the world, as have farmers in North America and Central Asia.
Having worked in the agricultural sector for over 20 years, at Pedersen Contracting we have seen our fair share of economic fluctuations. We’ve seen the farming community successfully weather the recessions of the 1990s and post-2008 – not only getting by, but actually coming out the other side stronger. We are therefore confident that, whichever way you voted in June, farmers have every reason to be optimistic about the coming few years.
Like most business sectors in the UK, the farming community was divided in opinion over Brexit. The NFU officially campaigned to remain, while there were several vocal groups, such as Farmers for Britain, as well as hundreds of independent campaigners (including NFU members), who supported the Leave Campaign. The referendum has been and gone and it is not our intention either to stoke divisions or to give an opinion either way, but we have been asked recently about what we feel the impact of Brexit will be on British farming.
Different parts of the country come with their own unique ‘soilscape’, or soil composition profile. Surrounding our base in Lincolnshire, for example, we have a mixture of loamy, clay-rich soils with a naturally high groundwater level around the coast, and more acidic, seasonally wet clay soils further inland. Elsewhere in the country, soils are quite different. Much of Wales and the south-west of England have sandy soils rich in lime that do not retain much surface water, whereas south-central England has a band of shallow chalk-rich soils. Each soilscape comes with a distinct profile that affects how farmers plant and rear crops.