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Soil Sampling and Nutrient Management Plans During Silage Season

First cut silage has started so Eco Prospects has been busy with soil sampling and nutrient management plans as the silage season approaches. As fertiliser hits £1000 per tonne, growers are looking to reduce this cost where possible. Eco Prospects can help and advise farmers about this.

The matrix that we use is simple. First test the soil to the parameters set out based on what the farm wants to achieve on each field. Once the analysis has been done, we will compile a nutrient management plan.

The purpose of nutrient management planning is to match nutrient inputs to crop demand. By knowing what nutrients to apply and when, will minimise the amount of artificial and organic fertilisers that are needed.

Having a nutrient management plan and reviewing it regularly will also help to maximise grassland productivity and meet the silage yield required. In this instance the plan will cover off the reduction of fertiliser costs and meet the requirements for Farming Rules for Water and/or your buyers quality protocol.

The lime spreaders have also been busy with applications of lime to neutralise PH, a vital aspect of soil management and grass growth. Low Ph levels will reduce yield by up to 10%. . It is particularly essential if the soil PH is very low. This is something that Eco Prospects advise on.

Principles of Sustainable Land Management

As a result of recent discussions and consultations with farmers, advisors, and industry organisations including Defra, the national body BASIS has introduced a new course entitled “Principles of Sustainable Land Management” that will formally be in place very soon.

BASIS is an independent organisation whose remit is standard setting and auditing for the pesticide, fertiliser and allied industries. It is in place to ensure the competence of staff working in these sectors.

The purpose of the new course is to support the agricultural industry in making the transition to environmental land management schemes. The course is built around the anticipated needs of farmers, land managers and advisors. It includes providing those taking the course with a knowledge of how to combine environmental management alongside sustainable farming practices.

BASIS is a widely respected body in the industry and as an agricultural advisor/consultant, Eco Prospects is pleased to have been asked to trial and review the course.

I will keep you posted!