Sustainable Soil Management, HL Hutchinson Ltd, Weasenham Lane, Wisbech, PE13 2RN, 07970 286420

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Our key focus is to create an environment where soil biology can be allowed to flourish.

SSM: Helping Biology work

Soil Biology is Key to all principles of soil management - a soil that is not biologically functioning cannot meet our level of production expectations.

The world is demanding more and more attention be paid to arable and livestock systems to ensure enough food is produced for the growing world population.

But we also need to ensure all the land we're farming is farmed in the most environmentally efficient way. Let's increase the efficiency of our use of nitrogen, so every Kg applied to the soil delivers more yield. The UK average efficiency of Nitrogen use is 60%, so there is a lot to go for to improve sustainability. A balanced, biologically active, soil will deliver greater Nitrogen use efficiency and become a more sustainable system.

SSM believes that by following sound soil management practises based on our Gold and Silver analyses, as utilised by our customers in the UK and Europe, we can grow sustainable crops whilst still improving yield and profitability.

“Without soil we have no production capabilities and without soil life we don’t have a functioning soil.”

Soil is a living ecosystem designed to produce life (food) in conjunction with soil microbes and fungi. Every nutrient cycle in the soil is driven by microbial activity. If we maintain a soil where these important microbes can survive and flourish, we'll have a productive soil capable of sustaining a cropping program. However, if we ignore the life of the soil nutrients become harder to release, roots find it more difficult to penetrate the degrading soil structure and the whole system slows to an unproductive state requiring more inputs. This can be overlooked by extreme mechanical and chemical intervention but, as we have seen over the last 30 years, this approach has significant financial and environmental costs.

SSM aspires to drive soil health on-farm by practically linking the Physical, Chemical and Biological aspects of sound soil management. Soil management shouldn't be seen as a discipline in its own right, but rather as a pillar necessary to support modern farming practises.

SSM will always deliver good results, especially when used to build soil programs.  Remember that soils are diverse and that treating soils with a single, individual discipline may not always get the result you want.

Cultivation and drill equipment work better in biologically and chemically balanced soils just as any biological inoculation has a greater chance of working in physically and chemically balanced soils. Ignore the trilogy at your peril.


  1. Can the soil you farm sustain the biological product being applied?
  2. Will your soil utilise 100% of the applied fertiliser ?
  3. Will your cultivation equipment work well on your soil every year?

If the soil is chemically out of balance, with for example; excessive sodium,calcium or magnesium, it would lend itself to a tighter structure which retains moisture and is very hard to work, causing a tightness restricting root penetration, air and drainage. Leading to poor crop production and environmental pollution risks (all as a result of poor nutrient use efficiency).

Simply using machinery to alleviate a soil's compaction / consolidation, alone will not be sustainable for the relief of a chemical imbalance and won't be able to get the soils fully functional.

This is where we come to the statement of balancing the CHEMICAL, PHYSICAL and the BIOLOGICAL aspects of your soil to achieve a sustainable economic environment for modern agricultural demands. We must use the best chemistry, best cultivation equipment and look to biological inoculation all together, rather than looking for a single silver bullet solution.

To easiest way to assess the balance in your soil is to get in touch with us at SSM and we can analyse your soil on a Gold or Silver package and start the journey of more sustainable productivity.  01506 240950


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