Soil research for cereals and oilseeds

With soil health at the heart of the new environmental land management (ELM) scheme, it is increasingly important to measure and manage it. AHDB is investing in evidence-based tools and information to guide soil-management decisions.

The soil management challenge

Soil health is at the heart of productive crop-based systems. It is also at the centre of government schemes that reward environmental land management. A major challenge for soil management is the production of guidance that can be tailored to fit all farming situations.

Soils form over thousands of years through local interactions of climate, geology, hydrology, and management. Physical and chemical alteration (weathering) break down parent materials (solid rocks and drift deposits). Finally, biological cycles of growth and decay produce the extra critical ingredient: organic matter. As a result, each field has unique soils.

AHDB research focuses on:

  • Improving understanding of the biological, chemical and physical components of soil health
  • Production of practical ways to measure and monitor soil health
  • Delivery of guidance on how to maintain and improve soil health

A report is submitted at the end of each project. After review (which can take several weeks), the final project report is published on the corresponding project page. At this stage, the project is official complete.

All soil research projects

Information on all soil research projects is available in our research archive:

  • In the ‘Sector’ drop-down box, select ‘Cereals & Oilseeds’
  • In the ‘Topic’ drop-down box, select ‘Soil management’

Visit our research archive

Recent soil research articles

Scorecard tracks soil health at Monitor Farm

Soil health scorecard seeds companion crop push at Monitor Farm

Can we harness the power of crop-friendly fungi?

AHDB ‘scorecard’ unearths soil’s secrets

AHDB issues Soil Health Scorecard guidance

Unleashing the might in chitin for soil health

Northern farmers discuss regenerative agriculture

Earthworms: a crop disease biocontrol?

Getting the most out of muck applied to cereals and oilseeds

Plough vs direct drill: Soil health impact revealed by ‘scorecard’

Stepping forward into regenerative agriculture

Soil research in action

Our Strategic Cereal Farms put cutting-edge research and innovation into practice on commercial farms around the UK.

Our Strategic Cereal Farm in Scotland has got soil covered

Cultivation depth and system resilience explored at Strategic Cereal Farm