Many fields are losing 1t/ha of soil every year due to a range of factors that are covered in this six-part course. The information has been compiled by Leaf from its Simply Sustainable Soils publication.
A well-drained soil means water can pass through easily and the soil avoids becoming waterlogged (anaerobic). Obvious signs of poor drainage are where water is lying on the surface, poaching problems are evident and erosion has occurred.
Compacted soil can reduce crop yields by up to 50% due to poor drainage, limited availability of plant nutrients, reduced aeration and increased resistance to root penetration. Leaf’s Caroline Drummond and Alice Midmer focus on compaction in the third of the Sustainable Soils Academy series.
Organic matter (OM) contains dead organisms, plant matter and other organic materials in various phases of decomposition. Yet it is the lifeblood of the soil, because it helps build the structure that holds water and provides a rich growing environment for plants.
Alongside the influence physical and chemical properties have on the quality of soil, biological health also has an important part to play. Earthworms are a major indicator of biological soil quality and often play an important role in the improvement of soil health.
Two Continual professional development points are available for the accrediting schemes on appropriate modules on this e-learning site. Look for the colour matched round icons on the modules and courses
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Each module is authored by a national expert or specialist in that subject. You can learn more about each of those experts from their biographies.Find out more
About Farmers Academy
The Farmers Academy is an e-learning platform for the farming industry which includes graduates, farmers, advisors and anyone working in the supply industry. There are more than 100 modules on this platform that cover arable and livestock subjects as well as business and machinery.Find out more