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The health of our planet begins with the health of its soil. Soil, often overlooked, plays a crucial role in the well-being of ecosystems and the success of agriculture. In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of sustainable soil management practices.

Soil carbon sequestration is the process of transferring carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere into the soil through crop residues, other organic solids, and root biomass, and storing it in a form that is not immediately re-emitted. This process is a key component in the approach to mitigating climate change and enhancing soil health.

Soil carbon sequestation

Soil carbon sequestration on agricultural lands requires increasing carbon inputs and/or decreasing carbon losses, which can be accomplished through various activities including conservation tillage, cover cropping and integrated nutrient management i.e. addition of organic soil improvers.

1. Conservation tillage

Conservation tillage plays a pivotal role in enhancing soil health in agriculture, representing a sustainable agricultural practice that prioritizes long-term soil health and productivity, benefiting both the environment and farmers.

It reduces soil erosion by minimizing soil disturbance, thereby maintaining soil structure and fertility. This practice also improves soil moisture retention by leaving crop residues on the field. These residues increase soil organic matter which is essential for soil structure, nutrient cycling, and microbial activity.

Conservation tillage helps reduce soil compaction, promoting healthier root systems and better water absorption. It fosters increased biodiversity, encouraging a diverse soil ecosystem that enhances nutrient cycling and soil health. Overall, conservation tillage represents a sustainable agricultural practice that prioritizes long-term soil health and productivity, benefiting both the environment and farmers.

2. Cover cropping

Cover cropping plays a significant role in enhancing soil health in agriculture. A sustainable agricultural practice that enhances soil health, supports biodiversity and contributes to a more resilient farming system. It’s a key component in regenerative agriculture practices.

Cover cropping significantly enhances soil health in agriculture by reducing soil erosion, improving soil structure and fertility, suppressing weeds, controlling pests and diseases, managing water efficiently, aiding in nutrient cycling and promoting biodiversity. These crops, grown when fields are otherwise idle, contribute to sustainable and resilient farming practices.

3. Soil improving mulch

Mulching is a simple yet effective technique that not only conserves soil health but also promotes sustainable agriculture.

The Essence of Mulching
Covering the soil with a layer of organic material such as Apsley Farms’ soil improving mulch to protects it from erosion and temperature fluctuations. The benefits of mulching extend far beyond its surface-level appearance.

1. Soil Erosion Prevention:

One of the primary functions of mulch is to act as a protective barrier against soil erosion. Heavy rain, wind, and other environmental factors can displace the topsoil, leading to loss of nutrients and degradation of the soil structure. Mulching helps maintain the integrity of the topsoil by reducing the impact of these natural elements.

2. Moisture Retention:

Mulching conserves soil moisture by reducing evaporation and preventing water runoff. This is especially important during dry spells when maintaining soil moisture is critical for plant growth. It creates a micro-environment that supports beneficial soil microorganisms and promotes root development.

3. Weed suppression:

Weeds compete with crops for nutrients, water, and sunlight. Mulching acts as a natural weed suppressant, reducing the need for synthetic herbicides. This not only benefits crop growth but also contributes to a reduction in chemical use, which is essential for a sustainable agricultural system.

4. Temperature regulation:

Mulch acts as a thermal insulator, helping to maintain more stable soil temperatures. In extreme weather conditions, it shields the soil from the scorching heat of the sun or freezing cold, which can harm soil microorganisms and affect plant root systems.

5. Improvement in soil health

Over time, organic mulch material break down and enrich the soil with organic matter, which improves its structure and fertility. As the mulch decomposes, it releases valuable nutrients into the soil, providing a natural source of nourishment for plants.

About Apsley Farms

Sustainability and efficiency are at the heart of everything we do

We’ve adopted cutting edge technologies and turned low value crops into renewable energy. We’ve focus on operating within a circular economy by returning the nutrients in our digestate products back to the land as a fertiliser. Our process of generating green gas and other important by-products ticks three important boxes: it displaces natural gas (fossil fuel) in the gas grid to heat people’s homes; it displaces CO2 made by the fertiliser industry which is essential in the food industry and it simultaneously generates natural fertiliser in the process!