New Soil Improvement Thinking Lauched at Cereals
A new approach to soil improvement using specific seed mixes to address
individual agronomic and production issues in intensive rotations, will be launched at Cereals
2013 by DSV UK Ltd.
Developed in Germany, the fast growing TerraLife mixes are designed to improve soil structure,
nutrient status and weed control in modern arable production systems using only a small number of
crop types as in the UK, says DSV’s Sarah Lockhart.
“It’s really a more scientific approach to using a single species as a catch crop or cover
crop,” she explains.
“The wide range of plant types in the mixes increase biodiversity, provide different modes of
root growth to break up the soil more thoroughly, encourage greater microbial activity and minimise
nutrient loss during the winter.”
Aimed at producers wanting to revive tired soils in intensive rotations, use a Spring crop in
their rotations or grow maize for digesters, the range is made up of five individual mixes each
with specific properties.
TerraLife Rigol is designed to break up compacted soils using vigorous rooting varieties
whilst TerraLife-N-Fixx provides rapid ground cover and optimum N-fixing from a mix of large and
small leguminous varieties.
TerraLife Forage Rooter is a forage crop in its own right with good drymatter yield, protein
content and feed value coming from a high proportion of crimson clover and TerraLife Maizepro has
been specifically developed to protect soil from nutrient loss and break up compaction to provide a
good entry for maize crops.
TerraLife-Biomax is a fast growing mixture including oil radish, buckwheat and sunflower
specifically formulated to capture and preserve nutrients in systems where high volumes of slurry
“At a time when growers are being encouraged to think about biodiversity, sustainable
intensification and using less direct agronomic inputs, we believe the TerraLife philosophy has a
lot going for it,” Sarah Lockhart says.
“There is greater interest in Spring cropping than ever before in the UK and many producers
are seriously looking at maize as an arable crop for the future.
“The approach has had a lot of positive feedback throughout Europe and in some countries
subsidies are paid for growing such crops to maintain soil organic composition and nutrient status.
This last year could be the catalyst that UK farmers need to follow their European counterparts and
look at such principles in more detail.”