The course builds on the success of BASIS modules, giving farmers, growers and advisors an increased understanding of how soil functions. The Quality of Soil course focuses on soil life – studying the physical structure and biology and also, the chemical processes that contribute to a healthy soil. It demonstrates how soil functions as an ecosystem – leading to an expansive understanding of how best to produce food, fibre and biofuels from the soil.
This course will enable farmers, growers and advisers to understand the relationship between the physical structure, biology and the chemical processes that contribute to a healthy soil. It will demonstrate the interrelationships between these aspects of soil and how it is a dynamic and subtly changing ecosystem which can be influenced, both positively and negatively, by farming practices.
- Introduction to soil
- The Physical, mechanical and morphological properties of soil. Water and air in soil
- Chemical properties of soil
- Soil organic matter. Carbon cycle
- Soil microbiota. Rhizosphere. Nitrogen and phosphorus cycles
- Soil mesobiota and macrobiota
- Soil, a non-renewable resource. Major threats to soil in the UK. Soil Health remediation practices. Soil testing methods
Duration: 5 days plus exam day (6 in total