Valuing Your Soils: Two New Videos Give Farmers’ Advice to Others

Published Wednesday, 28th September 2016 in Farming & Water Scotland news

Soil testing

It can take 500 years to replace 25 mm (1 inch) of top soil, yet in the UK it is estimated that 2.9 million tonnes of soil are eroded each year, and soil quality is diminished by poor practices.

As part of the recently published “Valuing Your Soils” guidance, new videos using case-studies of real farmers’ experiences are now available on the Farming and Water Scotland website.

The arable and grassland system case-study videos build on the success of the recently published “Valuing Your Soils” guidance brochure that was developed to help Scottish farmers, crofters and land managers protect and manage their most valuable resource. The videos are no longer than 3 minutes each and can be downloaded at http://www.sruc.ac.uk/info/120605/soil_and_nutrients/1688/valuing_your_soils. Electronic versions of the Valuing Your Soils brochure can also be downloaded from the same site.

In an arable case-study farmer Robert Ramsay of West Mains of Kinblethmont, Angus, explains how controlled traffic farming systems, involving set tracks identified by GPS satellite links, can improve yields by protecting farm soils from problems such as compaction.


For farmers on mainly grassland systems a video featuring dairy farmer Hugh McClymont of Scotland’s Rural Colleges Crichton Royal Farm in Dumfries, promotes good soil management in an area with high rainfall. He stresses the importance of opening up the stubble after maize harvest to maintain soil structure and reduce the chance of surface water run-off and potential soil erosion.


The guidance brochure and accompanying case study farmer videos, funded by CREW (Centre of Expertise for Waters) at the request of SEPA, were produced with input from Scottish farmers, SRUC researchers and consultants together with industry experts and guided by a steering group including CREW, SEPA, levy body AHDB, NFUS, Scottish Water, SNH, QMS, Forestry Commission Scotland and the Scottish Government.

Brochures will continue to be distributed and case study farmer videos will be played at agricultural events across the country. Awareness raising workshops for farmers are also being planned for late 2016 and 2017.

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