Growing arable crops continuously can have a serious impact on soil condition.
In these circumstances soil can lose structure and organic matter, becoming more compact and harder to cultivate. Clays run together and sands can literally blow away. Perhaps most serious of all, its potential to support high yielding crops can drop significantly.
One of the best ways to combat this is by including a short term grass ley in the crop rotation. Grass leys produce a huge amount of root mass, adding tonnes of organic matter to each acre. This significantly improves the soil creating 'crumbs' of soil particles which make seedbed preparation so much easier.
So next time you consider a new diesel-consuming cultivation implement remember that grass leys can do the job, working 24 hours a day, nearly every day of the year for a lot less money. They can also, of course, support livestock so creating an income.
Date Posted: 15th February 2012