Herefords in wildflower meadow

The contributions of organic additions on soil quality

Jarvis, P.E & Woolford, A.E
Frank Parkinson Agricultural Trust
Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust
February 2017
All rights reserved.
Applied research
Key Farming Practices: 
Organic fertilisers
Soil monitoring
Cover crops
Diversified rotation

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Resource explained: 

Falling soil organic matter due to cultivations, oxidisation and crop residue removal have many implications for soil quality. This report produced by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), with support from the Frank Parkinson Agricultural Trust, looks at the role of organic matter within soils and reviews the effects organic additions (produced on and off farm) have on soil quality. It covers livestock manure and slurry, cover crops and plant residues, and those which may be imported as a by-product from an industrial process; including compost, digestate, green waste, wood and paper, and other biosolids. It provides guidance on carbon: nitrogen ratios (key to successful soil and crop production management) and looks at other factors that affect soil organic matter, such as crop rotation choices, inorganic fertiliser use, cultivation methods, protecting soils from erosion, and introducing biomass crops and trees.

Findings & recommendations: 

Please see here for a summary of the main points provided by the GWCT.