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TUBER TALK: How you can access the best of our GREATsoils programme

6 February 2018

By Mike Storey, Head of Resource Management

During our seminar programme at BP2017, Dr Anne Bhogal of ADAS discussed the recent press coverage that soils have received – after the state of British soils was identified as a potential threat to agriculture in this country.

Organic matter plays a central role in soil health and, in many senses, is the major currency in the biological process as it provides food for earthworms and other organisms, nutrient cycling, soil aggregation, the development of soil structure, as well as being an important carbon store.

Another key threat is soil erosion. Currently, we are losing soils much faster than soils are being formed.

A third risk is soil compaction, with recent surveys carried out on potato fields indicating three quarters of those surveyed showing severe levels of compaction, which can significantly restrict root growth.


We are one year into the four-year GREATsoils project where we will invest £4m across all sectors to provide the latest research and development in soil health.

The GREATsoils programme will provide the latest guidance on soil biology and soil health, helping farmers improve their soils.

When we talk about soil health, we talk about the chemical, physical and biological health of the soil. From time to time, prolonged bad weather or a difficult harvest can affect soil properties.

We can look to best practice to improve our soils.

Tools available to improve soil management health

  • GREATsoils publications – easy-to-read guides that talk you through different aspects of improving your soil’s health
  • GREATsoils events – discuss soil health in your region with growers and researchers
  • The Nutrient management guide (RB209) – now available as an app for Apple and Android devices, search RB209 in your app store

For more information on how to access resources from our GREATsoils programme, please visit


This article is taken from AHDB Potatoes’ Tuber Talk newsletter, to download the full edition, please click here


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