All fields are tested regularly for P, K, Mg and pH using a GPS aided grid system, allowing soil index contour maps to be created. From these fertiliser and lime is applied variably as needed.
Nitrogen is applied in the spring using the Yara N-Sensor to variably apply according to the crop requirement. Using the latest calibrations, such as the Absolute module for oilseed rape, nitrogen can be targeted to the areas of the field with the greatest demand, ensuring more efficient use of costly inputs, reducing the input costs per tonne and minimising over application which could have a negative impact on the environment.
Organic matter and our policy
Soils are also regularly tested for organic matter content with the aim to improve or at least maintain levels. On the most recent testing, the values ranged from just under 3% on the lightest soil types to almost 7% on the heavier soils, or those with a history of manure applications.
Lighter soils, with low organic matter are prioritised for manure applications to help build levels over time.
Here at Brixworth Farming, we have a policy of maintaining and where possible, improving soil organic matter levels through applications of organic manures, composts or cover cropping. Recent tests on organic matter levels across the range of soil types showed the benefits this policy is delivering, with a range from 3.5% to 6.7%. These will be retested on a regular basis to monitor the impact of any changes made.