The Week in Soil


The importance, cost and need to protect our soil featured heavily in Environment Minister Michael Gove’s speech to the NFU conference earlier this week.

The conference saw the announcement of Minette Batters as the NFU’s new President.  She has called for greater knowledge about sustainable soil management to be shared between the scientific and farming communities.

Trapping CO2, releasing nutrients and balancing out the PH levels:  Could crushed basalt be the catch-all solution to the environmental challenge of our soils?

Or is the answer rather more straight-forward?  Human hair is being used as compost by Irish hairdressers – it  apparently has nearly 20 times the potential fertility of standard Manures.

Seagrass meadows trap more than twice the carbon stored by a forest of similar area and worldwide lock away more than 10% of all the carbon buried each year in the ocean floor.  But UK seagrasses are in serious decline.

Congratulations to Cranfield University who were in Buckingham Palace this week to pick up their Queen’s Anniversary Prize in Further and Higher Education for their work in soil science.

“Choosing plants that will love your soil, rather than just those you fancy” – was The Sunday Times advice to gardeners last weekend – and could as easily applied to the nation’s farmers.

And finally, what would Bart Simpson think?  Shelbyville (really) has just announced its 2017 Soil conservation farmer of the year.