“The grid system approach just wasn’t sufficiently accurate. After having the land scanned and sampled, we now have the detail needed to make nutrition plans tailored to the crop and field, including the silage ground where we use a lot of specialist fertilisers.
“It also means we can better manage the variability in our soils. We have areas high in potash and lower in phosphate. We can also see rapid falls in pH, and the RHIZA platform enables us to manage all of this better than we could before,” he says.
The soils are initially scanned and sampled, then subsequently re-sampled every few years to keep track of nutrient changes with the results uploaded to the portal within a few days.
“The portal is improving and the data is clearly presented. New results are added within a few days of the field being visited and are often there before I know the field has been covered. If there are any issues, Charlie Catto, our agronomist is on hand to quickly sort it out or help us interpret the data properly.
“As the system develops and the industry has to adapt new practices in response to changing regulation, I can see it becoming an essential crop management program,” says Mr Sleigh.