What do farmers do to protect soil quality?
British farmers work hard to protect and maintain healthy soils. Without fertile soils, farmers would not be able to grow crops productively, or support their livestock effectively.
There are more than 700 different types of soil in the UK. The more farmers know about the soils they have on their farm, the better they can make decisions to improve the health of those soils. A 2018 government survey into English farm practices showed that 74% of farmers knew the soil type for each of the fields on their farm and 35% actively tracked the organic matter contained in those soils.
In recent years, new technologies and techniques have been developed that help farmers to look after their soils. Low impact machinery helps to reduce soil compaction, something which can restrict the growth of plant roots and make it more difficult for water to penetrate the soil. Farmers are also using new technology and practices to reduce the amount that soil is disturbed through jobs such as ploughing and planting new seeds.