To deepen our understanding of soil health and cover crops, Catalyst Farming has implemented a trial to investigate how the establishment of cover crops affects soil biology.
Soil bulk density sampling and phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) membrane tests
Catalyst Farming has been employing advanced techniques such as soil bulk density sampling and phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) membrane tests with the aim of unravelling the intricacies of soil biology within cover crop systems. This signifies a pivotal step in fostering sustainable agricultural practices.
“Understanding soil biology is crucial for sustainable farming. Cover crops play a pivotal role in enhancing soil health, and we are keen on delving deeper into their impact,” remarked Ed Salmon, farm manager at NE Salmon.
Soil bulk density sampling, a fundamental aspect of this investigation, involves collecting soil samples from various depths to measure density, which offers critical insights into soil compaction and porosity. This should help us to understand what the optimum level of cultivation is when establishing cover crops.
Checking composition and diversity of microbial populations
Additionally, the employment of phospholipid fatty acid membrane tests serves as a groundbreaking method to analyze the microbial community within the soil. By studying the composition and diversity of microbial populations through PLFA tests, we can gain a comprehensive understanding of the soil’s biological activity and its responsiveness to cover crop integration.
“We anticipate that the data retrieved from these tests will offer valuable insights into the microbial communities present in the soil, shedding light on their role in nutrient cycling and overall soil health,” added Mr Salmon.
Steering our decision-making
Our cover crop trial, supplemented by these sophisticated analyses, aligns with Catalyst Farming’s commitment to advancing sustainable agricultural practices. We hope findings from these tests will enhance soil fertility and resilience.