Sustainable Soil Management, 9 Caputhall Road, Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland UK EH58 8AS +44(0) 1506 420950
Ian Robertson – Managing Director
Having grown up on a farm I released from an early age that I wanted to work in Agriculture. Newcastle University offered a great agricultural course; I majored in crop production and graduated with a 2.2 Hons degree in 1990. On my return from travelling I joined MDS ltd. This is a 2 year long graduate management scheme that places you in middle management roles in the fresh produce industry. My 4 secondment's were, Greens of Soham, Emmetts, TVM and Winchester growers. This lead to rapid on the job learning about systems, growing and people management a massively valuable experience.
The Glenside group was founded by my father in 1982 has been practicing sound soil management based on the Albrecht® soil analysis system. In 2000 I was offered a job to help increase Glenside penetration in England and also develop the Albrecht® Soil Analysis offering. We have changed the soil analysis system to meet the needs of the UK and European producers. We now use a UK lab allowing for faster turnaround times and ISO accreditation. Albrecht® had some of the answers but by using our 36 years of experience linking the Physical, chemical and biological aspects of the soil I believe we have taken soil analysis to an other level. This delivers great advantages for the end user as will as delivering greater soil understanding and job satisfaction for all involved.
Ian speaker at a LEAF farm demonstration with the resident farmer Duncan.
Seeing what we have in our soils by digging a profile pit is essential to understanding what we are working with. How it smells, aerobic or anaerobic, its aggregation, its organic matter content and we can assess its ability to decompose organic matter as an indication of biological activity.
The soil is the stomach of the plants and if it is looked after, understood and managed, it can overcome many limiting factors.
Soils are a dynamic substance, laid down over millennium, but ever evolving. Whilst we cant change the parent material influence, we can understand its limitations and impact on our everyday farming practices.