Celebrating World Soil Day

Sustainable Farming Starts with Soil Testing

2 mins

As we mark World Soil Day today, it’s an opportune moment to reflect on the vital role soil plays in sustainable farming practices and combating climate change. Amidst the global challenges we face, understanding the significance of soil testing before applying fertilisers emerges as a crucial step towards ensuring sustainable agriculture.

The Foundation of Sustainable Farming

Soil serves as the foundation of agriculture, nurturing crops and sustaining life. However, over time, intensive farming practices and environmental factors have depleted soil nutrients, adversely impacting its health. Addressing these challenges requires a shift towards sustainable farming methods, and it all begins with understanding the soil’s nutrient composition.

Soil Health and Climate Change

Healthy soil not only supports robust crop growth but also contributes to climate change mitigation. Properly balanced soil fosters carbon sequestration, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This underscores the significance of maintaining the soil’s vitality through responsible agricultural practices.

The Importance of Soil Testing

Soil testing stands as a pivotal practice in sustainable agriculture. By analysing the soil’s nutrient levels, farmers gain crucial insights into its deficiencies, allowing them to tailor fertiliser applications precisely. This targeted approach not only optimises crop yield but also minimizes excess fertiliser usage, thereby curbing environmental harm.

ICL introduce Sustainable Technologies

At ICL, our team are constantly working hard to develop new technologies and improve existing technologies to help champion sustainable farming. Introducing products such as Controlled Release Fertilisers into the Agricultural sector can help maintain soil’s nutrient balance, as the nutrients are released as and when the crop requires them. This means that less nutrients are wasted through leeching or volatilisation, which is good news for both the farmer and the environment.

The Role of Polysulphate in Ehancing Soil Health

ICL are also the only current operation with access to Polysulphate. This natural mineral is mined from under the North Sea and is almost entirely composed of four of the essential major nutrients that plants require to thrive: potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sulphur. Not only does this rare mineral provide four major nutrients which keep the soil enriched, but it also releases these into the soil over several weeks, matching the growing period of the plants so that they have a continuing supply of plant food.

Unlike highly processed fertilisers, Polysulphate also benefits from only requiring minimal manipulation to be made into a suitable form for application. The organic rock is simply crushed and screened before it can be used, any dust created in the process is used in other ICL products, so nothing goes to waste – This gives Polysulphate the lowest carbon footprint of any major fertiliser.

A Call to Action for Sustainable Practices

As we celebrate World Soil Day, let’s recognise the pivotal role soil plays in sustainable farming. By prioritising soil testing to understand its nutrient deficiencies before applying sustainable fertilisers, we take a crucial step towards ensuring healthy soils, resilient crops, and a more sustainable future. Embracing responsible agricultural practices not only supports our immediate farming needs but also aids in safeguarding the planet for generations to come.