Shedding light on the return on fert, soil health and carbon this Autumn

Shedding light on the return on fert, soil health and carbon this Autumn

22nd September 2023

Three member services to maximise your ROI

With the winter months providing a break from the majority of field applications for arable enterprises, they can provide the ideal time to invest in your business by utilising some of the services offered by Scottish Agronomy.


Nitrogen efficiency and the return on fertiliser

The Scottish Agronomy benchmarking groups, now entering their 3rd year, will be meeting in December to review the latest years’ worth of data and discuss areas of improvement within their businesses with peers. Over the summer meetings the groups focused on nitrogen management and Nitrogen Use Efficiency, taking some valuable insights back onto their own farms and sparking great conversations on soil health.

The benchmarking groups will be focusing on The Return On Fertiliser Inputs over the next rounds of meetings, a topic that should naturally follow on from previous discussions. Any farmer members who are interested in getting involved with the benchmarking groups should get in touch with one of the advisory team.


Digging deeper into soil

Discussions on soil health will be expanded further for those that have reserved a place on our new Healthy Soils course running this winter. The course will span 4 months, split into 4 half day sessions from December to March. During the course the groups will explore the role of soil and plant relationships and their importance to profitable farming systems. Ian Robertson of Farmacy will be joining Scottish Agronomy’s Senior Agronomist Eric Anderson to jointly deliver the course.

The aim of the course is to improve members practical knowledge and understand of soils, through a mixture of indoor and outdoor sessions, allowing members to return to their own businesses able to better understand what is going on beneath their crops. The course is now close to capacity. Any members who wish to express interest in a future soil course should contact as soon as possible.


Deadline for Government’s Sustainable Farming funding

Scottish Agronomy also continues to offer a carbon auditing service to members. Completing a carbon audit through a PAS 2050 carbon calculator programme and receiving FBAASS recommendations from qualified advisors, such as Scottish Agronomy, is necessary to be able to access the money available for soil sampling under the Preparing For Sustainable Farming scheme.

With an extensive number of carbon calculators and carbon credit trading options available to growers it may seem like a complicated market. At Scottish Agronomy we continue to believe that members should refrain from trading any carbon credits from their farm until there is clarity on future agricultural policy from Scottish Government. Carbon auditing can, however, identify areas for improvement within farming enterprises.

Whilst the carbon audit can be carried out at any point during the year, the deadline for those wishing to claim for soil sampling in 2023 will be the 31st December. Due to the requirement of individual members to enter their own data into the calculator, members should ensure they give themselves plenty of time to carry out this step and allow the advisors time to complete the recommendations before the deadline.

Those planning to carry out an audit in 2023 should make Stevie Gray aware to ensure deadlines can be met with recommendations.


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