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The purpose of conducting a soil analysis is to assess the eficiency or deficiency of the available nutrients for crop growth and to monitor change brought about by farming practices.

Why should you test your soil?

Inspecting bodies including the Environment Agency and Farm Assurance inspectors are demanding more accurate fertiliser recommendations which must include and depend on the nutrients supplied by the soil. 

Testing your soil regularly will give you the information you need to receive maximum yield from your crops without using over excessive product if it is not necessary.

How often should you test your soil?

The nutrients within the soil do not alter dramatically over short periods of time unless major changes to supply or demand are introduced. Addtional sampling inbetween the guided frequency would be justified when you introduce new cropping or a new fertiliser policy.

Filed Type Sample Frequency
Permanent grass 7 years
Intensively used grassland 3-4 years
General arable cropping 3-5 years
Arable and grass systems 3-5 years
Filed vegetables and horticulture 2-3 years

Soil Testing Tips

  • Use the same laboratory each time
  • Sample each time at the same time of year
  • Avoid sampling under extremes of soil condition - Waterlogged or very dry soil

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The next round of the Countryside Productivity Small Grants Scheme (CPSG) is open for applications. Applications must be submitted by midday on 3rd September 2019, so don’t miss out!

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