Soil health testing upskills knowledge

Enhanced soil health testing has enabled farm management company Sentry, to upskill its knowledge and offer improved support to the farms it manages.

As one of the largest national farming companies in the UK, Sentry is solely responsible for the wellbeing of their clients’ cultivated land. Following in-depth soil health tests at some of Sentry’s largest estates, Managing Director, Paul Christian, is confident in the service that his team now offers.

He said: “Improving our understanding of soil science is firmly on Sentry’s agenda. We fully acknowledge that farming plays a pivotal role in soil health, be it good or bad, and as an industry, we are finally beginning to wake up to it.

 “We identified the farms which we thought would benefit the most from enhanced testing and using the results, have been able to make some very simple, quick improvements. This alone has shown us the diverse range of soils that we have across our farm portfolio, and the importance of catering what we do on an individual basis.

 “From our agronomists through to management, we’ve all been on a journey to upskilling our soils knowledge, and therefore improving the quality of what we offer our customers.”

To help achieve Sentry’s goal, Paul approached Agrovista, following the launch of the company’s new dedicated programme earlier this year – Agrovista Soil Health.

The programme, led by Head of Soil Health, Chris Martin, centres around data collection and soil health analysis, ranging from basic tests through to comprehensive whole farm soil health reports.

So far, Chris has produced a range of reports for Sentry, advising on the chemical, physical and biological solutions required to better manage soils for both farm profitability, and long-term soil sustainability.

With further testing and reports already scheduled, Sentry hopes to have in-depth soils insight into all the farms it manages.

Future work also includes collaborating with Agrovista through the Agrogate fam business service, to conduct audits, provide wider business support including environmental stewardship advice, and devise manure and nutrient plans for customers.

 “Regenerating and restoring our soils back to optimum health is essential for future crop and livestock production, and our ability to feed our ever-expanding global population,” said Chris.

 “Recognising that our soils are facing unprecedented pressure, Sentry has taken soil health to the next level, in order to futureproof their business and ultimately, our planet.

 “It’s been really encouraging to be a part of their journey and work together to provide the tools they need, all the while championing the soil health message to their farmers and landowners.”

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.