Soil is a vital part of the natural environment, is essential for plant growth and provides important ecosystem services such as water filtration. The world’s soils store more carbon than all of the world’s forests combined, which also helps to regulate the Earth’s climate. Erosion of soils is an extremely critical issue. It has been estimated that 75 billion tons of topsoil are eroded each year and 80% of the world’s soils are or have been affected by erosion.

The importance of effective soil management, supported by the expanding science of soil health, is increasingly recognized. Many farmers and livestock producers are broadening their understanding of how crucial soil management is to improving crop and livestock productivity, combating climate change, and preserving the source and quality of water.

Learn more about how Flagship Farmers are enhancing and protecting their soil

Andrew Francis

Andrew Francis

Potato and Carrot Grower, United Kingdom

  • The farm holds quarterly soil meetings to discuss how to maintain and improve the properties of the soils. Soil pits are regularly excavated throughout the year to identify any potential issues relating to compaction or structure and addressed as required
Read Andrew Francis’s full story
Hubertus von Daniels

Hubertus von Daniels

Wheat Grower, Germany

  • When the farm was purchased in the 1990s, soil organic matter levels were approximately 1.5%. Soil management practices over the intervening years have seen this increase to 3%, with a corresponding increase in crop production and yields
  • Increasing the soil’s organic matter levels from 1.5% to 3%, the farm has potentially sequestered over 100 tons of CO2 per hectare
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Jason de Sain

Jason de Sain

Lettuce Grower, Portugal

  • The use of biological processes to address soil diseases and pests, along with the adoption of new varieties, has reduced input use per 1,000kg of crops grown by 37%
  • The farm is approved via Conservation Grade Farming. This is a scientifically and independently validated protocol designed to focus on locally important species, with 10% of the farming area dedicated to the creation of specific habitats
Read Jason de Sain’s full story