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Soils

Protecting and improving farm soils can make your business more profitable

Correct soil management and targeted nutrient use are essential to maximise agricultural efficiency and minimise losses to the environment. If mismanaged, both soils and organic and inorganic nutrients can lead to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and diffuse pollution risks affecting surrounding water quality.

  • Soils are made up from the weathering of underlying rock or glacial/river deposits and take thousands of years to form.
  • A teaspoon of healthy soil contains billions of bacteria, kilometres of fungi and thousands of microscopic animals.
  • Growing cover crops can increase soil organic matter, protect from soil erosion, improve soil structure and potentially reduce fertiliser costs.

Find out more in the Valuing Your Soils booklet – practical guidance for Scottish farmers.

Acidic soils could be affecting production on many Scottish farms.  This is a conclusion in our “Report on Soil and Organic Materials Analysis from the Soil and Nutrient Network Farms 2016 – 2018“.

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