Love Your Soil

Love your soil

The Claydon patented leading tine drill was invented in 2002 and since 2003 has been delivering great results for customers across the world.  Right from the beginning, all those years ago, Claydon were convinced of the importance of looking after soil and how damaging cultivations were in terms of compaction and encouraging erosion and flooding.  In the years that followed, it was evident that the leading tine was doing a great job in encouraging worm populations to thrive, and improving the health of soil and crops..

At the recent Claydon open days, we hosted a talk by Dick Neale from crop production specialists Hutchinsons.  Dick spent most of the two days in a soil pit in one of Jeff Claydon’s fields, talking about soil health and soil structure.  He conducted a slake test to assess the resilience of both Claydon-drilled soils and soil from a cultivated field on a nearby farm.

Slaking occurs when aggregates are not strong enough to withstand internal stresses caused by rapid water uptake. … Specific problems that might be caused by poor function: Slaked soil particles block soil pores, form a soil crust, reduce infiltration and water movement through soil, and increase runoff and erosion.  Slaking indicates the stability of soil aggregates, resistance to erosion and suggests how well soil can maintain its structure to provide water and air for plants and soil biota when it is rapidly wetted. Limited slaking suggests that organic matter is present in soil to help bind soil particles and microaggregates into larger, stable aggregates.*

To test your own soil by conducting a slake test, all you require is a jar of water, some chicken wire, some soil and some more water.

To find out what happened in the Claydon slake test, click here.

*University of Illinois

Many of our customers are already harvesting in countries like Italy, Germany and Bulgaria.  Early indications of yields are very good compared with neighbouring farms who have cultivated and dried out their soils at a time when rainfall has been very low for the second season running.  Cultivations impoverish soils whilst the Hybrid drill aerates and loosens soil only in the rooting and seeding zone.  The banks inbetween the seed are undisturbed and retain their structure and moisture content, making for a healthier and stronger crop. 

Today, soil is very much a hot topic and takes centre stage at shows like Groundswell and Cereals in the UK and is making mainstream news headlines globally, impacting agricultural legislation for governments.  It looks like soil is top of the agenda for many.  Long may it continue!