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Soil Analysis and Testing

Regularly carrying out soil analysis and testing is one of the best financial investments a farmer can make.  Soil analysis will identify the pH of the soil in each field and on this basis, the amount of lime required to regulate the acid in it.

To gain maximum benefit from your soil’s potential in terms of yield and nutrient retention it is important to fully understand what its make up is.  A standard soil analysis measures Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium and pH.  For arable land this is the most common analysis that we sample for.  However, sometimes more detailed nutrient data is required to try and unlock reasons for poor yields.

GPS Soil Sampling combines soil sampling with using a GPS to navigate for accurate sampling locations. The soil is mapped at the same time as the soil GPS sampling and calculates an accurate layout of how much agricultural lime and fertiliser is required across the farm.  For example, the suggested sample area for soil sampling is 4 hectare whereas lime testing is done on 1-2 samples per hectare dependant on terrain and field use.

GPS sampling uses a grid process and identifies sample points within the grid.  Based on the results a detailed map will be created with a four year nutrient management plan.

By regularly testing the fields every 3-4 years will help in the application of fertiliser both artificial and organic, identifying what to use, how much to use and when to apply.  However, some farmers may require soil sampling more regularly than this.  For example, Arla Dairies need comprehensive soil sampling for their suppliers on a three-year rotation and Wiseman Dairies require two year rotational sampling.  Eco Prospects can help and advise you on what is required.

In conjunction with a nutrient management plan and fertilisers recommendations, a targeted and cost-effective method of crop and soil nutrition can be achieved, in the first instance. Secondly it will cover requirements stipulated by the regulatory and food standard bodies.

Soil and Crop Nutrition

Soil degradation such as erosion, compaction and the decline in organic matter are currently problems that the government’s 25 year plan is keen to address and the expectation is that farmers will work towards bringing about healthier soils.

Soil fertility is essential in farming, because a fertile soil will sustain plant growth and optimize crop yield, but it can be difficult for farmers to monitor the quality of their soil.  This then makes it difficult to improve its quality. Eco Prospects can help with this.

We will measure the current status of the soil and use this information as a basis to identify the crop requirements.  From this a balanced plan can be established to meet desired crop yield.  We will use a variety of inputs to do this including: –

  • Soil sampling and mapping
  • PH testing and mapping
  • Supply of lime to correct PH
  • Soil Management plans

To enhance its fertility, organic and inorganic fertilizers can be added to the soil.  However, balancing the governments requirements for farmers to ensure that they use fertilizers efficiently, coupled with the need for crops to be protected, is challenging.  Eco Prospects can help and advise you on this to make the objective achievable.  This includes: –

  • Fertiliser and manure management plans
  • Nutrient management plans

All advice and practices are supplied by an independent FACTS qualified advisor.

Some or all of these practices will lead to an improvement of your enterprises gross margin.

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Ben is passionate about products from waste to bring about change in resource management. very knowlegable and helpful problem solver but more importantly very honourable.

Michael Miller, Global Renewables.

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Worked with Ben finding land for Biosolids in Kent, Sussex and Hampshire. Ben’s ability to cultivate effective relationships with farmers and other stakeholders enabled him to deliver in a saturated and restricted market, that was being driven into negative value by the competition.

John Buckoe, Viridor,

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I have worked with Ben for three years on a number of project and business development initiatives. Ben stands out in my opinion for his creativity, his focus on developing bespoke solutions for customers and his determination to drive projects forward.

Jonathan Crampin, Veolia,

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Ben came to the farm with a great knowledge of agriculture and was able to understand not only my business but what was practical and achievable. Ben’s work was of a very high quality and depth and he was able to aid me in pointing out my weaknesses and my needs in driving my business forwards.

David Bushby, Watson Hill Farm, Egremont, Cumbria

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