Know How / Soil

Healthy soil is an essential part of all food production. It also has a far greater capacity to store carbon. It underpins farm profitability and is set to be a major part of many future environmental schemes. We look at how farmers in all major agricultural sectors are working to improve the quality of land that they are farming.

ARABLE

A regenerative farmer's reservations on carbon trading

Carbon trading has become a hot topic, as farm payments transition across to rewarding farm businesses for investing in natural capital on their land. However, many farmers disagree on whether…

ARABLE

Regen farming income blip as market volatility increases

High yields and rocketing commodity prices have created a financial "blip" for regenerative farming systems, with margins falling behind those of conventional farms in such an unusual year. Speaking at…

AGRICULTURAL TRANSITION

Groundswell stirs debate over certified regen standards

Debate is intensifying over whether regenerative agriculture should be properly monitored and certified to prevent people jumping on the bandwagon without abiding by its principles. The increasing popularity of regen…

ARABLE

3 arable farmers, 3 regenerative agriculture journeys

Preparing their businesses for the post-Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) world is the driving aim for three arable farmers at different stages of their regenerative agriculture journey, as they look to…

SOILS

How organic matter increase helped farm hit net-zero target

Soil organic matter levels have seen a 1.1% increase at the Lockerley Estate in Hampshire, thanks to a diverse arable rotation, integrating sheep, cover crops, clover leys and organic manures.…

AGRICULTURAL TRANSITION

Staffing and soil health key transition aims for suckler farm

Recruiting and retaining good farm staff is a key goal for Northern Ireland beef producer Fergal Watson. Mr Watson runs a 285ha arable-beef setup, with wife Lucy and daughter Eabha-Marie,…

AGRICULTURAL TRANSITION

How natural capital is thriving at pioneering farm

A working experimental farm in the small Leicestershire village of Loddington is developing groundbreaking natural capital schemes that benefit farmers.  The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Allerton Project has been…

AGRICULTURAL TRANSITION

Durham Estate team commits to regenerative agriculture

Raby Estate in County Durham has committed to rolling out regenerative agriculture on its 1,250ha farm and building a legacy for future generations. Farm manager Philip Vickers, one of our…

ARABLE

Soil carbon: Targets and how to store it in arable fields

Farmers have a huge opportunity to help combat climate change by reducing emissions with the adoption of less intensive cultivations, as well as capturing and storing carbon in their fields. …

CROP MANAGEMENT

Why mixed farmer exited pigs to focus on agroecology cropping

Shropshire arable and pig farmer Harry Heath has begun a journey into the world of agroecology in the hope it will future-proof his business, having made the difficult decision to…

BUSINESS

Webinar: Transition Summit series – Successful soil

Interest in soil science and management has exploded in recent years, and in our fourth Transition Summit webinar we take a closer look at the subject. Good soil conditioning is essential for…

SOILS

Why the SFI pilot added up for this Oxfordshire farm

Applying to be part of the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) pilot made more financial sense for Oxfordshire farmer Ben Adams than entering a Mid Tier Countryside Stewardship (CS) agreement. After…

SOILS

Regen ag: Why farmers need to give the system time to deliver

Farmers who have begun putting regenerative farming in practice are becoming more confident about the system and are finding that the rewards vastly outweigh the risks. Farmers Weekly spoke to…

NEWS

Global farm leader encourages UK to join soil health pledge

Farmers across the world are being asked to unite and make a global soil health pledge – to pass on their land in a better condition than what they found…

NUTRITION AND FERTILISER

Cover crops help cut fertiliser costs for barley grower

As fertiliser costs spiral, Hampshire arable grower Ian Margetts is looking to cut nitrogen applications on his spring malting barley by up to 15% this season, as a result of…

ARABLE

Video: Why cows and trees are part of Essex arable business

George Young is making big changes to his arable business with nature at its heart. Read the full report and watch the videos for more detail on his tree planting…

SOILS

What to consider when increasing soil carbon stocks

Soil organic matter underpins soil health, providing numerous benefits to its physical and chemical properties. But what is it, and how can farmers effectively increase levels to get the most…

ARABLE

SFI Pilot: Two arable farmers share their experiences to date

The Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) pilot is giving farmers an opportunity to help shape the future of farming in England, with participants being able to choose the standards and ambition…

PIGS

How grass cover improves pig performance on outdoor units

Grass cover crops have led to improved pig performance, water and soil quality and increased biodiversity in trials based on two outdoor pig units in East Anglia. The trials are…

AGRICULTURAL TRANSITION

SFI trials show ditching plough improves bird numbers

Fields established using conservation agriculture systems have higher bird numbers than those cultivated using a more conventional plough-based approach, according to research. Researchers believe this is due to improved soil…