Norfolk farmer Robert Salmon has had a life-long interest in soils and has made a significant investment in a12 metre controlled traffic system.
N E Salmon Limited is an arable farm business operating in mid-Norfolk near Dereham. It grows wheat, barley, oil seed rape, beans, grass seed, beans and sugar beet on the lightest land so to look after the soil structure the business maintains a robust rotation, both to control grass weeds and, by using organic manures, to increase soil fertility.
It has become clear to Robert that the weight of modern harvesting machinery is potentially doing irreparable damage to soil structure and so it is hoped that investment in a controlled traffic system will enhance soil structure, make the farm more sustainable and hopefully increase yields.
It is planned that using the system the farm will be able to adopt a strip tilled technique for the cultivation of sugar beet. This will help mitigate the damage caused by large beet harvesters as the undisturbed soil between the plant rows will help support the weight of both the harvesters and trailers carting off the beet.
Over the last three years Robert has been chairing a soils special interest group based at Anglia Farmers and as part of this he intends to take the opportunity of examining the soils at Hyde Hall both before and after the introduction of controlled traffic farming. A particular interest is to discover how we can both enhance and measure improvements in the biological activity of soils.
There is a unique opportunity to visit the farm and see the controlled traffic system on 26th May 2016 and then join us for a barbecue afterwards.