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buffer the nutrient. This is because the carbon binds to the nutrients, chelating and complexing them, which improves plant uptake. Applying a carbon source such as carbon-based liquid fertiliser, L-CBF BOOST™, seaweed extracts, organic acids, compost teas, compost or manure, can improve nutrient cycling and reduce losses, meaning you’re getting the most out of the input. Wherever you can, keep the soil covered with a carbon residue to protect the soil from the elements, and help

reduce the risk of OM burning off into the atmosphere. This can be achieved with cover and companion crops.

Evaluate Finally, evaluation is crucial. Testing the soil and the plant itself will help you to determine if your work has been successful. Tissue testing can give an indication of the uptake of nutrients by the plant and help to determine if any additional remedial work and fertiliser applications have been effective. This is even more important on land where you’ve cut back on nutrients.

where you’ve made changes. Analyse the results of soil samples and tissue tests and continue to take them regularly. Yield is important, but what we should be aiming for is long-term soil fertility so that we can continue to use the land for generations to come. For more information on improving your soil health contact George at george@qlf.co.uk.

Take the first test when crops begin to grow in spring and repeat on a fieldby-field basis two to three times per growing season, as a deficiency in just one trace mineral could limit yields. If deficiencies are seen, consider foliar applications of micro and macro nutrients to address this. Go out with a spade after six months to check soil structure and compaction where you’ve made changes

30 DIRECT DRILLER MAGAZINE

After six months, go out with a spade to check soil structure and compaction

George Hepburn

ISSUE 5 | APRIL 2019

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Direct Driller Issue 5  

Issue 5 Of Direct Driller magazine. The conservation agriculture magazine created by farmers for farmers. Subscribe for your free print copy...

Direct Driller Issue 5  

Issue 5 Of Direct Driller magazine. The conservation agriculture magazine created by farmers for farmers. Subscribe for your free print copy...