The Week in Soil

Online how-to guides on improving soil health are among a toolkit of resources now available to growers as the Soil Association’s three-year involvement in the GREATsoils project comes to an end.

In a similar vein, the US Government has launched a soil health page on its website farmers.gov.  Developed with the needs of America’s farmers, ranchers, and foresters in mind its aim is to help you build healthier soils and strengthen your operation.

Is soil, not grape variety now the crucial determining factor in choosing wine? Imagine Austrian Reisling for example thanks to its “complexity because of the slaty para-gneiss, amphibolite and mica soils” 

What does the term ‘soil health’ actually mean and how can it be measured for the arable industry?

What stores more CO2, young soil or old?  Scientists from Ghent have studied soils aged 100 to 3 million years to enable them to predict which factors impact the carbon storage in soils in the long term and which part soils can play to prevent global warming. 

‘Soilisation’ is the technological term being used to transform desert into fertile land – something Chinese scientists are developing in Abu Dhabi – but employing physics instead of chemicals.

Meanwhile back in China, the government has released a contamination control standard for agricultural land and development land as part of the national campaign against pollution. The standard sets risk screening and intervention values for soil contamination on the content of pollutants, such as heavy metals and hazardous chemicals,

And finally, to celebrate the 70Th anniversary of the NHS, A Welsh artist has created a portrait of Aneurin Bevan out of soil on a mountain in Trefil.