Farmer holding a soil sample©Tim Scrivener

Growers who put soil health at the heart of their business are being encouraged to enter the Soil Farmer of the Year competition for a chance to win £250 worth of green manure seed.

The award aims to find and recognise growers who are passionate about managing their soils in a way that supports productive agriculture and biodiversity, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building soil organic matter and carbon.

Innovation for Agriculture and the Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit launched the competition on World Soils Day, as the International Year of Soils comes to an end later this month.

See also: Why investing in soil organic matter can sustain future yields

David Gardner, Innovation for Agriculture chief executive, said: “Over recent decades our soils have been degraded and as a farming community we need to start rebuilding them.

“There is a huge amount of interest in soils among farmers at present and many are experimenting with new crop rotations, cover crops and alternative cultivation methods.

“The Soil Farmer of the Year competition will rightly reward one of these farmers for their commitment to leading an improvement in the nation’s soils.”

Entry closes on 4 February 2016 and growers can submit their applications online by visiting the Farm Cutting Carbon Toolkit website.