How did you decide which fields to do soil tests on?
Thanks @nielscorfield for the advice on the website, it is really helpful for choosing!
I’m about to get started with testing the soils on my Dad’s conventional small mixed farm in Oxfordshire. Our soil is silty clay loam - it varies a bit over the farm, but generally gets more silty in the valley by the brook.
After chatting with Dad we’ve decided on 6 fields which could be interesting. However they’re all a bit more complex than just a field, there’s varying soil types, half this and half that, and all quite big!
—> Long Field (20ha): A lot of soil variance, from ironstone outcrop at the top of the hill to heavy ground in a dip to lighter ground by a small area of woodland, also a very wet corner and southern end is heavy wet bank. Currently planted with winter wheat, previously oilseed rape. Could probably do about 5 different sample sites on this field alone!
—> Field Cottage Field (11.8ha): One side previously pasture for 5+ years, the other side pasture for 18 years, now both winter wheat.
—> Brook Field (8ha): Arable rotation for 9 years - now winter wheat, previously oil seed rape.
—> Main Road Field (18ha): Partially fallow stubble as part of mid tier env scheme, partially ploughed - this area will be spring barley for Budweiser to malt. Previously winter wheat.
Drive Field (12.4ha) Permanent pasture 100 years+ - old ridge and furrow field, site of a medieval village
Oak Tree Field (9ha): On arable rotation, previously winter wheat, then spring oats under sown with grass, now pasture grazed by cattle pre November, now sheep.
My instinct is to go for:
Oak Tree Field
Field Cottage Field, both sides
Think the Long Field and Main Road Field will be too complicated for now.
Any advice on this topic from those who are already testing would be much appreciated!
Field Cottage Field:
Field Cottage Field and Brook Field: