Going back to our roots with soils

Friday 05 June 2015
Going back to our roots with soils

Soils – back to basics


Although we expected better weather for the first Lancashire Farmer Network summer farm walk this year 17 of our hard-core members turned up to Westhead Farm at Lathom to hear Neville Pearson talking about soil structure and how it can be managed. We braved the rain and gale force winds to gather round a soil pit kindly dug by our host Michael Rimmer whilst Neville showed us how and where to identify compaction, and then discussed (in the shelter of the barn) what we can do to remedy any issues caused by working soils in less than ideal conditions.


The main points are summarised below:


For more targeted advice for your own soils Neville recommended Think Soils - excellent informative publication produced by the Environment Agency which gives good practical advice on identifying the soils on your farm and how to deal with any issues.

 CFE Lancs soil event


Neville Pearson in the soil pit discussing soil texture and structure. We identified deep compaction at 18 inches below the surface - this may have been caused by using high pressure tyres with a heavy load on wet soils and could be remedied by deep sub-soiling.




This event was supported by the Campaign for the Farmed Environment – good soil management is key to farming in an environmentally sustainable way. If we manage our soils correctly to avoid (or minimise) compaction this will reduce run-off of sediment contacting nutrients and pesticides and minimise pollution of waterways. The new 2015 soil protection standards provide details of all the changes to cross compliance requirements for soil and are much more focussed on minimising soil erosion and subsequent pollution. 



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