Focus on soil health
Soil health is becoming increasingly important, affecting crop vigour and yields, bio-diversity, and profitability. Getting below ground to see what is really going on isn’t easy, except at Cereals, where a 20m long, 1.2m deep trench dug through a variety of crops will provide a worm’s eye view of soil structures and roots.
Sponsored by NIAB TAG and Rothamsted Research, The Soil Pit at Cereals 2017 features a new compacted area - to illustrate the effects of poor soil structure on rooting ability -, a variety of crops with different drilling dates and cover crop mixes. Yara will also be taking samples throughout the soil profile, to illustrate the importance of measuring nutrients before choosing how, and where, to apply fertiliser.
The Soil Pit will provide expert advice to enable more informed decisions about soil management. It will:
- demonstrate how soil physics, worms and microbiology interact with plants
- show the results of different cultivation and tillage techniques used to alleviate compaction
- reveal the distinct rooting habits of different cover crops to and provide the information you need to choose the appropriate species to tackle specific problems
Crops being demonstrated this year include:
- Winter and spring beans
- Wheat and oats
- Vetch and radish
- Radish and oat mix