skip to main content

Improving the health of UK soil

Earlier this year in March, the government proposed plans for an agricultural bill that has soil health at the heart of its transformative plans. Recent reports have suggested that the UK only has an estimated 100 harvests left before our soil is too depleted to grow further crops.

Previous governments have failed to address the problem of soil health and the UK - along with the rest of the world - is heading towards a crisis, unless steps are put in place to reverse soil damage.

The Agricultural Bill, expected to be released during the last six months of 2018, will tie in closely with the government’s 25 year environmental plan as soil health is directly related to water and air quality and has a wider impact on public health.

Advice to arable farmers includes ensuring that regular and detailed soil analysis is undertaken so the correct remedies can be applied when soil is becoming depleted. A common first step in replenishing soil is the application of lime, which can improve the effectiveness of fertiliser and make key nutrients available.

When soil testing, key elements to monitor within the soil are; Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Potassium (K), Sodium (Na), Boron and Zinc. These elements are essential for all crops to grow healthily including; vegetables, root crops, orchards, grass/clover and many more.

Farmers are also being encouraged to implement regular crop rotation in order to rest the soil and give it a chance to regain its health ready for the next batch of crops. Staying on top of soil health is a large undertaking and requires pre-planning and thought. AID Fuel Oils supports local farmers with reliable fuel deliveries so they can keep their farming machines running during important harvest and soil maintenance periods.