Growers are being increasingly told that soil fertility is caught in a spiral of decline and time is running out to save our farmland from becoming a dusty, baron wasteland.
Now a new guide is to be published by the Soil Association detailing seven measures growers can take to reverse the trend of depleting soil nutrients and organic matter.
Liz Bowles, head of farming at the Soil Association, said: “Unintended consequences of current soil management practice has led to the perilous state of UK soils today.
See also: How to measure soil health and vitality
“We need to ensure farmers have the right understanding and guidance to change this and improve the health of our soils.”
As well as providing guidance for farmers, the Soil Association is asking the government to improve incentives for farming practices that promote healthy soils and to fund research to demonstrate the real-world advantages of such practices for farmers.
“We need the government to commit to our target of increasing soil organic matter by 20% over the next 20 years,” said Ms Bowles.
See the seven steps in detail below. The guide is available to download from the Soil Association’s website from 5 February.