Farmers and growers are concerned about the current health of their soils (compared to 30 or 40 years ago), and some of these concerns are supported by soil analysis data collected over the same period.
Most farmers and growers understand the importance of soil health for the productivity, sustainability and profitability of their businesses, but many face significant challenges when interpreting results from laboratory analysis or when choosing suitable tools or methods for assessing the health of their soils beyond the standard pH, P, K, Mg analysis.
To be of value to growers and farmers, methods for soil assessment should not only measure soil health, but should also provide information that can be used to inform decision making in relation to soil management. During a series of grower consultations in autumn 2015, regional grower groups in the UK discussed different approaches to soil assessment; what methods they find useful and reasons why others are not very commonly used.
They were asked to rate a list of categorized soil assessment methods, and the first results will be discussed in this session.