How farmers can protect soil from extreme weather?
The start of 2020 has already brought its challenges for UK farmers – from one of the wettest winters on record to the sunniest spring to date. So how can farmers protect their land from such weather extremes?
One way is to improve the health of their soil. Here are our top 3 tips:
- Don’t leave soil bare during the winter
Having 100% ground cover all year round can help protect the soil. Some farms have introduced temporary crops to preserve nutrients and protect soils at key times in the farming calendar. Crop rotation systems can also help retain moisture for spring seed-beds, that would otherwise dry out if the land had been left bare.
- Minimise tillage or direct drilling
Allow soils to remain undisturbed by leaving crop residues on the surface from harvest until sowing. This helps to maintain more residue on the soil surface, reduces erosion, and conserves soil moisture compared with ploughing and other intensive land preparation and cultivation methods.
- Maintain/install a good land drainage system
Making sure your drains are in tip-top condition can help prevent wet spots and nutrient run-off during the wetter periods. As many drains were installed on farms before the 1980s, when grants were available, these old clay pipe systems are starting to fail. This is either down to them becoming clogged with silt, subsoiled through, as they were often only laid 600mm deep, or damaged by tree roots. Installing a new land drainage system can make a big difference to the health of your soil and your crop yields.
How can we help?
Our background is in farming so we understand your needs – our MD’s family have been farming for generations. We are also specialists in land drainage and supply a wide range of products at cost-competitive prices, including land drainage coil, twinwall pipe and large diameter structured pipe.
Our team of specialists can provide you with expert advice. Call us today on 0121 351 3230.