More than 80 Agrovista agronomists have completed a demanding soil health training course to help farmer customers drive crop profitability whilst improving the resilience of their soils.

Chris Martin, Agrovista’s head of soil health, designed and led the Agrovista Soil Care course, which took place over a six-week period this winter.

“The aim is to give our agronomists across the UK advanced knowledge of practical soil health matters which they can discuss with growers, identifying where they are today in terms of soil health and where they would like to be in the future,” said Chris.

“Many soils are under unprecedented pressure as a result of intensive farming practices, driven by agricultural policy, competitive commodity markets, population growth and climate change. This cannot go on.

“It is vital that farmers receive the best possible advice to unlock their soils’ full potential in a sustainable manner, so they can increase productivity while protecting their most precious asset.

“Agronomists and growers will work together to plan their farms’ soil health journey, highlighting the major enablers to ensure success and agreeing strategic key performance indicators to track progress.”

Agrovista Soil Care training and assessment has been rigorous. “It was designed to push agronomists hard so was set at a high bar,” said Chris.

“Most of our agronomists already have the BASIS Soil and Water Management Certificate, but this doesn’t give the practical interaction with real-farm scenarios.

“Soil Care is designed to be a step up from that with a much more practical focus, bridging the gap between the science and practical farming.”

Half of those attending have already gone on to complete the additional practical training assessment and are now officially Agrovista Soil Care agronomists.

On-farm advice starts with Agrovista’s comprehensive soil health report, which provides the chemical, physical and biological solutions necessary to manage soils effectively.

Practical steps include measuring and maintaining correct pH and nutrient balances, monitoring and influencing soil biology, and maintaining natural soil structure to minimise compaction, using a range of measures including green covers and  reduced, targeted cultivations.

Proven products

Agrovista has also put together a range of proven products that can help address these key practical areas.

These include L-CBF Boost, a filtered molasses product that contains range of nutrients that increase soil microbe levels, improving plant nutrient availability.

Liquid Gypsum is a liquid soil conditioner that helps soil flocculation, improving workability, drainage and root exploration.

Phosta is a proprietary, soil-applied agent that protects newly applied phosphate from soil lock-up and releases fixed forms of phosphorus present in the soil.

MZ28 a foliar-applied controlled-release methylated urea fertiliser. As well as being highly efficient, it eliminates detrimental bacterial blooms triggered by soil-applied ammonium nitrate.

Agrovista is part of leading international parent company, Marubeni Corporation.

Chris Martin