Soil Guidance

A wide variety of publicly available (online) soil management guidance has developed over the last twenty years to help farmers measure, monitor, manage and improve their soils.  It has been developed and promoted by a wide variety of organisations - Defra, NGOs, trade bodies – even supermarkets.

We have looked to collate and present a library of the most recent and authoritative of these resources alongside relevant background detail (date, organisation responsible etc.) here:

BASIS - Soil and Water Management

2020

Harper Adams University

Soil science and management course.

Soil Structure and its Benefits

2020

Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution

This report synthesises the evidence on the relationship between soil structure and benefits, focusing mainly on agricultural, mineral soil.

Improving Soils for Better Returns

2018

AHDB

Advice for avoiding and reducing compaction due to livestock.

Soils and Natural Flood Management

2017

Environment Agency

Manual to improve understanding of natural capacity of soils to accept rain water.

Farming rules for water – getting full value from fertilisers and soil

2017

Defra

Soil management regulations for compliance with the Water Framework Directive.

Valuing Your Soil: Practical Guidance for Scottish Farmers

2016

CREW / SRUC

Protection and improvement of farm soils, making farming more profitable.

Soil Assessment Methods

2016

AHDB

Information on methods for evaluating soil health.

Seven Ways to Save our Soils

2016

Soil Association

Guide of simple practice to protect and improve soils.

Cross compliance in England: soil protection standards

2015

Defra

Most recent cross-compliance standards (focus on rules).

Natural Flood Management Handbook

2015

Sepa

Natural flood management.

Soils, fertilisers & manures

2015

SRUC

Series of factsheets covering a range of soils and soil quality issues.

Better Soil and Grassland Management for Scottish Beef and Lamb Producers

2013

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS)

Guidance for soil and grassland.

Getting the Most from Your Soil

2012

Welsh Government / EA Wales

Guide to land resources management.

Simply Sustainable Soils

2011

LEAF

A guide to assessing soil quality.

Single Payment Scheme Cross Compliance Guidance for Soil Management

2010

Defra / RPA

Practical and rules-based guidance for soil management, soil risk assessment, soil protection and remediation.

Protecting our Water, Soil and Air: A code of good agricultural practice for farmers, growers and land managers

2010

Defra / Natural England in association with Environment Agency

Protection of air, water and soil and meeting legal requirements.

Soil Analysis & Management

2009

Institute of Organic Training and Advice / Defra

Soil analysis guidance.

Best Practice for Managing Soil Organic Matter (SOM) in Agriculture (lowland)

2009

ADAS

Guide to practices for managing SOM on-farm.

Best Practice for Managing Soil Organic Matter (SOM) in Agriculture

2009

ADAS

Guide to practices for managing SOM in agriculture.

Best Practice for Managing Soil Organic Matter (SOM) in Agriculture (upland)

2009

ADAS

Guide to practices for managing SOM in upland agriculture.

Best Farming Practices: Profiting from a good environment

2008

Environment Agency

A guide to soil management for environmental protection and farm profitability.

Think Soils Manual

2007

EA / AHDB

The ‘think soils’ manual is a practical guide to soil assessment.

Great Soils

2007

AHDB

Helping you protect your soil and improve its productivity. 

Defra Best Practice Information Sheets

2007

Defra

Soil Management Best Practice Information Sheet.

Single Payment Scheme Cross Compliance Soil Protection Review

2006

Defra

Practical and rules-based guidance for soil management, soil risk assessment, soil protection and remediation.

Single Payment Scheme Cross Compliance Guidance for Soil Management

2005

Defra

Practical and rules-based guidance for soil management, soil risk assessment, soil protection and remediation.

Defra Visual Soil Assessment

2005

Defra

Guide to visual soil assessment.

Target on Establishment

2004

Soil Management Initiative (SMI) / Vaderstad

Guidance for no or minimum tillage.

The Identification of Soils for Forest Management

2002

Forest Research

Providing rapid soil identification for good soil and forest management.

The Soil Code

1998

MAFF / Welsh Office Agriculture Department

A code of good agricultural practice for the protection of soil.

Sustainable Use of Soil

1996

Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution

Thorough review on soils packed full with info.

A Guide to Better Soil Structure

1980

National Soil Resource Institute / Cranfield University

Guidance for protecting and enhancing soil structure.

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