A new guide advising farmers on how to improve the long term sustainability of their soil was launched at Grassland and Muck 2011 (18 May).
The ‘Simply Sustainable Soils’ guide, launched by LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) in partnership with Asda, gives farmers advice on soil texture, structure, drainage, compaction, nutrients and biological health.
LEAF chairman and Yorkshire sheep farmer Stephen Fell said: “As a farmer, soil is my greatest asset so it is essential that I manage it wisely to ensure the health of my crop and grassland.
“I am delighted that LEAF, in partnership with Asda, has produced this new guide to soil management and I am sure it will inspire farmers to make the most of this precious resource.
“Furthermore, as we come to feel the pinch of climate change and the pressures of food security, this guide will help farmers reflect on the critical role they play in ensuring the long term sustainability of our farming systems.”
Asda head of sustainable sourcing Chris Brown said the effects of climate change including drier summers, milder winters and rising sea levels presented a “high risk to the stability of our soil”.
“How farmers manage their soil is critical to help reduce the effects of these changes, which is why they need practical and realistic ways to make their farming systems more robust. ‘Simply Sustainable Soils’ will help make these changes a reality, bringing about meaningful changes on the ground.”
The guide will be sent out to all Asda partner farmers and is available to LEAF members via the LEAF website.