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Thoughts from Groundswell 2021

Some of our team recently attended Groundswell 2021, an agricultural event that is rapidly gathering momentum as the importance of soil health is recognised. There were a wide variety of speakers with an overarching aim, to encourage land managers to focus on soil health.

It is clear that we can no longer rely on ‘the bag, the can, the feed lorry’. Most soils are degraded to some extent, and the more we understand soil structure, chemical behaviour and microbiology, the more we recognise that there has been a conflict with traditional farming methods.

Reducing inputs is a key factor in improving soil health and enhancing the productivity of the land. It can also lead to significant commercial gains as costs are reduced, which will be a valuable tool in helping to fill the income gap as BPS is phased out. Whilst most farmers are rightly focused on protecting yields, evidence shows that although output may be affected in some instances, margins can be improved.

In the agricultural world, our default topic of conversation is the weather. We cannot control the rain, but we can build farm resilience and de-risk the business, by working with nature to build soil structures that are better equipped to handle extremes. The ability to do this is increasingly important as climate change creates chaos in the farming calendar, with rising numbers of severe weather events.

Soil health is key and the main protagonist in regenerative practices. The sector is evolving and events like Groundswell are essential to sharing ideas, innovative practices and inspiring change in the industry. Every farm is different, and we are working with our clients to help them realise the benefits their own land is capable of delivering, through new ways of farming.

Ali Gray - GSC Grays

Article by

Ali Gray
FAAV
Rural Director

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