Cereals: The Arable Event

DESPERATELY SEEKING FIELDS FOR INNOVATE UK PROJECT

11-May-2017 by: Seonaid Ross SoilEssentials

A consortium of partners both academic and industry are developing a unique test to measure soil quality, linking the nematode populations and communities with nutrient, texture, structure and other key soil attributes. This test will identify long-term soil health problems across fields, problems which could be improved to give greater crop yields.

SoilEssentials - the leading precision agriculture specialists - are now seeking growers who could offer further fields for sampling. The grower will receive, free of charge, results for pH, Nutrients, C%, P, K, Mg, Ca and Na with the knowledge that they will be helping to provide vital information to the project.

At Cereals, on stand number 337, SoilEssentials staff will be actively engaging with people to come on board with the project. Soil Sampling team manager Alison Easson explains “we are now into Year two of this three-year project and my role is to manage the soil sampling of 500 fields across the UK, over the next 12 - 18 months. It’s no small task and SoilEssentials are sampling fields the length and breadth of the UK to get the range of results that make this project robust. It’s a continuous process finding the fields and so I am appealing to growers, farmers, agronomists, and land owners get in touch and be involved in improving the UK’s soil health."

This Innovate UK funded project is a collaboration between commercial companies and researchers.  

Scottish Agronomy is the leading organisation in Scotland devoted to the provision of unbiased arable advice to farmers. It was established in 1985 as an Industrial and Provident Society (Co-operative) by a group of progressive arable farmers. The objective of the Society is to produce, gather, interpret and disseminate technical information solely for the benefit of the membership.

Barfoots grow, process, pack and market a range of semi-exotic produce, with a quality and freshness that is second to none. Established in the early 1970’s by Peter Barfoot, the family business has grown to employ over 200 people. Their existing customers include the major supermarkets within the UK and leading national restaurant chains.

SoilEssentials are the award-winning, leading Scottish precision agriculture specialists providing integrated solutions through the seasons to make a farmer’s life easier and more profitable by farming smarter. They also have Trimble authorised dealer status for Northern UK and blend this with a complementary portfolio of products and services of their own.

The James Hutton Institute, (JHI) supported by James Hutton Ltd combines strengths in crops, soils and land use and environmental research, and makes a major contribution to the understanding of key global issues, such as food, energy and environmental security, and developing and promoting effective technological and management solutions to these. It employs more than 500 scientists and support staff, making it one of the biggest research centres in the UK and the first of its type in Europe.

SRUC (Scotland's Rural College) delivers comprehensive skills, education and business support for Scotland’s land-based industries, founded on world class and sector-leading research, education and consultancy. The soil science and systems research group within SRUC has an extensive track record of soils research in the UK. JHI and SRUC have state of the art infrastructure for successful delivery of their project-specific objectives such as laboratories for nematology, soil physics and molecular biology, glasshouses, and experimental farms.

In the first instance, to talk through how you can get involved, please contact Alison Easson by email: alison@soilessentials.com or call 01356 650459. We look forward to hearing from you.

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