Farm contractors should ask to see their customers’ soil protection review, says David Pettitt, dairy research consultant with the Kingshay Farming Trust and Dairy Farmer.

“It’s vital to identify soil problems at an early stage,” Mr Pettitt told a seminar audience at the Grassland UK event at Bridge Farm, Shepton Mallet, Somerset next to the Bath & West Showground this afternoon (May 10).

Completing a soil protection review will become mandatory for producers from September this year and will provide key information for contractors, he said.

It will identify fields that are susceptible to soil problems, management practices giving rise to those problems and management techniques to remedy them.

Key factors influencing soil erosion are: soil type, slopes and cultivation equipment. For example, in young maize crops inter row cultivations can help to break soil caps and prevent massive and rapid run off of water and soil.

For more information, check the publication Farm Environment Check Book from the Kingshay Farming Trust.