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Course details

Developing your strategy to manage healthy soils for sustainable production
Designed for
Individuals who wish to understand how to improve soil health through good soil management to achieve optimum and sustainable yields in arable and grassland systems
Entry requirement
Able to demonstrate practical experience
Dates and locations
Register interest
£245 + VAT
One day classroom and field-based course
CPD points
7 BASIS points
Dr Elizabeth Stockdale, Head of Farming Systems Research, NIAB

Classroom module 1 (half day) - Introductions; farmer motivations for attending the course:

Importance of soil health

  • Getting to know the soil’s character - understanding sites and soil, how to interpret a soil map
  • Principles of soil health (chemical, physical, biological)
  • Measuring and monitoring soil health and performance using key indicators

The key role of soil organic matter (SOM) in soil health

  • An overview of soil function including the maintenance of soil structure, the need for fertility and the value of organic matter/ types of organic matter
    • What is SOM and how we measure it
    • SOM and soil structure
    • Building SOM – gains and losses of SOM via management
    • The use of different soil amendments (similarities, differences and impacts)
    • Critical levels of SOM and using soils for carbon storage for GHG mitigation

Field and classroom-based Module 2 (half day)

Monitoring soil health in the field

  • How to get the best information about soil health from the field using soil sampling and field measurements
  • Putting it all together in the field, a practical session

Key practices to improve soil health (content below is indicative – the topics covered will be shaped to meet the interests and requirements of attendees)

  • Managing soil to reduce the impact of compaction and erosion
  • Building arable rotations and increasing rotational diversity - the structure of crop rotations and how rotational intensity can impact upon performance
  • Impacts of diverse swards in grassland systems
  • Using cover crops to improve soil health and worm populations
  • Different methods of cultivation and establishment on soil health
  • Using knowledge of soil health to adapt the nutrient management plan for a field

Developing a soil management plan

Trainers are accredited by ARTIS

Participants receive an ARTIS Accredited Certificate



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