looking after the land
Taking care of the land we farm is of utmost importance. Not only does it help us produce the best crops, but it also ensures that our most valuable resource is kept in good condition for future generations of farmers.
Applications of fertilisers are carefully planned once the soil has been sampled to determine the nutrient status. The aim is to meet the nutrient needs of the crop and maintain the nutrient levels in the soil, ensuring that we put back into the earth the nutrients we use to grow our crops. Our farms are adopting the latest precision farming techniques, where satellite images provide ‘maps’ of the levels of phosphorus, nitrates etc in the soil, that then allows the application of nutrients to be targeted more accurately within each field. Organic manures are used, when available, to reduce the requirement for inorganic fertilisers and to return organic matter to the soil.
In the preparation of soil for sowing crops, we also use our knowledge and experience to cultivate the land using environmentally sensitive practices. And, with over 700 collective farming years amongst the farm managers, that’s a lot of experience! By inspecting our soils regularly and choosing the most appropriate machine to cultivate the soil, we reduce our energy consumption and also ensure that soil erosion and run off are reduced to a minimum.
The Co-operative Farms are a founder member and principle sponsor of the Soil and Water Management Centre at Harper Adams University, and our farmers receive regular soil management training here. To find out more, please visit the Harper-Adams website.