12 March 1999

SOYL mapping brings benefits

A SURVEY of some of the 200,000ha (500,000 acres) of arable land nutrient mapped by SOYL over the past six years shows cost benefits can be achieved.

The survey covered 89 farms and 420 fields. Of the 28,000ha (69,000 acres) investigated, many fields fell into index one or two for P, K and Mg index pre-SOYL, putting crops at risk, comments the companys Simon Griffin.

Less than half were in the preferred index two. The balance were in the money wasting index three or higher.

Of the 89 farms using SOYL, 15 did not make cost savings, some spending more on fertiliser but benefiting on yield. The balance made savings ranging from £12/ha (£5/acre) to over £74/ha (£30/acre).

Regional breakdown shows Scottish farms saved an average £23.50/ha (£9.50/acre), while English regions varied from £12-17/ha (£5-7/acre).

Annualised cost of mapping at £3/ha (£1.25/acre) plus extra contract application cost must be allowed for, Mr Griffin accepts. &#42