Compost Key To Meeting Government Soil Quality Goals

Farm-soilThe recent Environment Audit Committee’s report titled “Soil Health” recognises the importance of soil as a key ingredient to agricultural production, climate change mitigation and flood risk protection.

Soil acts as a huge carbon sink, however, due to intensive agricultural activity, carbon levels since 1978 are in widespread decline. The Government signed up at the COP 21 conference last year in Paris to increasing soil carbon levels by 0.4% per year, current cross compliance rules go some way to achieving this goal but fall short of advocating the use of compost as a soil improver.

“If we are to meet our 2030 sustainable management target mentioned in the recent EAC report, then there is an imperative to make more effective use of compost and other organic materials as soil improvers and renewable fertilisers”

PAS 100 quality compost is an ideal source of organic matter and partial artificial nutrient replacement for use in agriculture. The Digestate and Compost in Agriculture (DC-Agri) field experiments provide a robust evidence base to support the confident use of composts by farmers and growers as renewable fertilisers.

The research demonstrates that composts can increase yields with no negative impacts on crop quality or safety, and that compost can increase soil organic matter more quickly (in almost half the time) than other organic materials.

Anna Becvar, Director of Earthcare Technical Ltd and member of the ORG Steering Group said: “We have seen the benefits of using compost both experimentally and on farm, a new video released by WRAP this week provides a good summary.”

“If we are to meet our 2030 sustainable management target mentioned in the recent EAC report, then there is an imperative to make more effective use of compost and other organic materials as soil improvers and renewable fertilisers. The REA calls for Government to consult with industry on how this can be achieved in its wider forthcoming 25 year environmental plan.”

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