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Monitoring and Evaluation Environmental, Social, and Economic Policy Poverty and Livelihoods The Low C Economy

Profit from soil organic matter

Improving soil organic matter management on your farm can produce net benefits between £30 and £65/ha annually depending on your farming system. In some cases benefits can be as high as £100/ha. A recent in-depth study of the costs and benefits of soil organices confirmed that these benefits can be realised in as little as 2-5 years.

Benefits will vary from farm to farm depending on the farm systems but overall some 85% of farms studied showed financial gains from improving soil organic matter management.

Recognising that "win-win" scenarios could exist where changes in soil management deliver financial benefits for farmers whilst at the same time improving soil quality Defra Environmental Land Management Division provided support for research by GYA to build an evidence-base of case studies based on the experiences of farmers who have changed their practice.  The evidence we collect will highlight the financial costs and benefits of the changes as well as the practical issues experienced. 

We also tested whether, and under what circumstances, this evidence can be used  to encourage farmers to start to change their practice.  We call this a ?non-determininstic? approach as farmers decide whether this makes sense for them rather than being told to adopt any particular farming practice.   This is supported by our proprietary KeyC soil test that indicates from one set of samples whether active carbon is increasing, constant or falling.

The ?win-win? farming practices that offer increased farm profits and soil organic carbon are intended to complement the work carried out under the England Catchment Sensitive Farming Delivery Initiative (ECSFDI).  Our experiences helped help the England Catchment Sensitive Farming Delivery Initiative to provide advice that is based on good science and a sound understanding of farmers' needs.

Informing the England Catchment Sensitive Farming Delivery Initiative

ECSFDI is delivered in partnership by Natural England, the Environment Agency and Defra


                                                 Supported by     

Get involved:

Our partner KeySoil, provides a world leading service to farm business exploring opportunities to profit from managing organic matter .   

Provide a Case Study: We need to learn more from innovations that already exist within the agricultural industry.  If you have changed your farm management in a way which you believe has affected soil organic matter then we'd like to learn more about the changes you've made. 

During a short on-farm visit one of our staff will discuss your observations and take a soil sample to assess the impact of your changes on the soil and test our proprietary ?Key C? indicator, which confirms the likely impact of a change on soil C.

In return for your time, we'll provide an assessment of the effects of your changes to date, let you know the status your soil organic matter and work with you to explore further opportunities that may exist.  If you agree we will use your experiences as the basis of an anonymous case study, enabling others to learn from your experiences.

Explore the opportunity for you to profit from soil organic matter:  Work with KeySoil to assess your current organic matter management practices and identify options for improvement.  We will help you assess the impact on your business of changing the way you manage organic matter, and conduct baseline soil tests to help you to assess the impact of any changes you make.  We will provide ?case study? examples describing how other farmers in similar situations to you changed organic matter management.

Want to know more?



Case Studies





Contact Us:
John Gaunt

32 Amenbury Lane
Hertfordshire, AL5 2DF

01582 346133

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