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by British Geological Survey
Posted on March 09, 2017

Scientists from the British Geological Survey and NRM Laboratories have found a novel way of using soil data to assess soil fertility.

Maps show that the pattern of more acidic soils – which can reduce soil fertility – increasingly reflect geology and typical rainfall patterns across England and Wales. In recent years, less agricultural lime has been added to farmers’ fields to neutralise soil acidity.

This new approach uses soil measurements paid for by farmers at a value of £42M, to monitor how key soil properties change at the national scale, but can also highlight regional issues. By using soil measurements and locations from many thousands of farms, scientists can create maps and assess overall changes in properties that influence soil fertility and crop yield. This new approach complements the large-scale surveys paid for by the government to help them understand how much important soil properties are changing.

More information about this new approach to mapping soil fertility is available from the British Geological Survey.