Soil conditioners are increasingly popular in UK arable farming. Especially amongst farmers operating regenerative practises. But the term soil conditioner is very rarely defined, and this has led to a lack of uptake in the farming community until recent years.
For simplicity; soil conditioners are products applied to soils to improve the conditions for growing crops.
Some of the most common modes of actions for soil conditioners include:
- Altering the availability of nutrients already present in the soil.
- Example Eutrema product = Phosphorus Liberator.
- 3rd party example = nitrogen inhibitors.
- Improving the nutrient holding capacity of the soil.
- Example Eutrema product = Humic & Fulvic acid.
- 3rd party example = biochar.
- Improving soil soil structure.
- Example Eutrema product = Liquid Gypsum.
- 3rd party example = manure!
- Improving water holding capacity or water penetration.
- Example Eutrema product = Yucca Extract.
- 3rd party example = polyacrylamide gel.
Soil conditioners can be differentiated from:
- Fertilisers, because, whilst they may alter the availability of a nutrient, their primary aim is not to add extra nutrients.
- Pesticides, because their primary aim is not to kill pests or pathogens.
- Biostimulants, because they are not primarily acting directly at improving plant growth. Instead they are acting on the soil, which in turn will hopefully make it more conducive to healthy plant growth.
If you would like to know more about soil conditioners or discuss their use on your farm, please get in touch with our technical team.