Earlier this month, we celebrated World Soil Day, a United Nations led campaign which highlights the importance of healthy soil and the role it plays in society. Given the importance soil health plays on the profitability of your farm, Kilwaughter Minerals Ltd is launching a twice monthly soil health blog to draw attention to some of the issues being faced by farmers in the UK and ROI.
On a broad level, soil holds three times as much carbon as the atmosphere, reduces the risk of flooding by absorbing and retaining water and delivers 95% of our global food supplies. The UN has warned that there are only 60 harvests left before the worlds soils are too depleted to feed the planet, while UK estimates are not much better with an estimated 100 harvests remaining.
It can be very easy to pretend that these issues will not be an issue on your farm, however, recent studies by government bodies show that there is a large proportion of agricultural land in GB, NI and ROI that suffers from less than ideal fertility and soil pH, not to mention issues around drainage, compaction, run-off, continuous cropping, lack of cover crops amongst other productivity related issues.
Through the winter is a great time to consider which productivity limiting issues in your soil could be impacting your farm and develop a long-term plan to address these issues and ensure long term sustainability.
An ideal place to start is with a soil analysis. It is very difficult to get where you’re going if you don’t know where you’re at. Soil analysis can help you to identify some of the more significant ‘hidden’ issues on your farm, and give you the opportunity to address these issues on a field by field basis to help improve your farms productivity and increase profits in the long term.