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Sustainable Soils

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.

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Soils 1: Structure

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by Alice Midmer (Leaf)  Course Sustainable Soils

Many fields will run out of soil if the loss of 1t/ha a year from erosion continues, because the rate of regeneration in many instances is only half of that amount a year.

 

Soils 2: Drainage

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by Alice Midmer (Leaf)  Course Sustainable Soils

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.

 

Soils 3: Compaction

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by Alice Midmer (Leaf)  Course Sustainable Soils

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.

 

Soils 4: Organic Matter

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by Alice Midmer (Leaf)  Course Sustainable Soils

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.

 

Soils 5: pH and Nutrients

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by Alice Midmer (Leaf)  Course Sustainable Soils

LEAF’s Caroline Drummond and Alice Midmer focus on pH and nutrients in the fifth Sustainable Soils series.

 

Soils 6: Biological Health

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by Alice Midmer (Leaf)  Course Sustainable Soils

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.