Time to update your soil health knowledge? Practical videos to boost your productivity

A new series of practical videos regarding #learningfromtheland have been published by Innovation for Agriculture to help farmers understand and improve soil health
calendar icon 28 June 2018
clock icon 3 minute read

Working in partnership with Innovation for Agriculture (IfA) and Ernest Cook Trust, the Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) team have produced a series of ‘Learning from the Land’ videos, launched at the Groundswell Show (27 June 2018).

These showcase easy-to-set-up soil demonstrations that can be carried out by farmers and land managers in their own kitchens. The videos highlight the importance of soil health and include practical techniques to help improve the overall health of soils in the UK.

Farmers can easily see how soils work to improve crop productivity while protecting the environment and reducing soil and nutrient losses.

Farming Minister, George Eustice said:

“Our 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our ambition for all soils to be managed sustainably by 2030. Boosting soil health has multiple benefits including increased nutrient up-take, better crop production, reduced risk of soil erosion and run-off. This all leads to improvements to water quality and wildlife, as well as safeguarding the fertility of our soils for producing food.

2018 Soil Farmer of the Year, Simon Cowell commented:

“These videos are a great way for farmers to understand and know their soils. The farmers’ enthusiasm in the case studies; for looking after their soil is obvious, and will inspire and give confidence to other farmers to change their own ways of farming. In addition to improving their soil's biology; they have benefited the environment by reducing both water and air pollution.”

Andrew Lazenby, CEO of IfA said:

“Through bringing together expertise from Innovation from Agriculture and Catchment Sensitive Farming with funding from the Ernest Cook Trust, IfA has produced these hands-on, practical videos to help farmers understand their soil, improve its health and ultimately save money on the farm, as well as achieving sustainable crop production.”

The quick, easy-to-follow videos feature experts Stephen Briggs, IfA’s Soil and Water Manager and Natural England’s Soils Biologist, Dr Matthew Shepherd. They also illustrate the aims of the recently formed ‘UK Agricultural Soil Initiative’ launched earlier this month at the ‘Cereals Show’ by showing demonstrations and case studies to improve our soils.

The series features episodes on:

1. Collecting soil bugs.
2. Extracting soil bugs.
3. The Soil Slab.
4. Sediment and nutrient loss from soils.
5. Holding on to soil nutrients.
6. Soil structural stability.
7. Soil Health – Stephen Briggs (IfA) explains the life beneath your feet and how to improve soil health with techniques such as cover or companion cropping.
8. Conservation agriculture – farmer case studies showing how four farmers are improving their soils.

To view the videos on YouTube please click here

Ryan Johnson

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2008 to 2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery and helped to maintain public and protected green spaces in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in agriculture across the globe.

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