1. Rotating arable crops with clover and grass leys where the fields are effectively rested (but
rejuvenated by going back to grass). The use of clover and other legumes is added to the mix to
fix nitrogen in the soil. These plants extract nitrogen from the air and effectively place them
in the soil. This is a slow process, since traditionally the rotation has been two years of
crops and three years of grass and clover. It is a good strategy because it provides excellent
grazing opportunities for livestock during this rest period. The demand for grazing on any farm
would have an impact on how much of the farm has been set aside for grass in this way.
2. The second strategy is to plant cover crops which are not harvested but may be grazed and
which enrich the soil. There are a wide variety of cover crops available for this purpose.
3. Acquiring high quality manures from dairies and other livestock enterprises. This picture
gives an idea of the quality of the material that has been brought onto the farm. This is
natural fertilizer at its best. Lower Pertwood Farm brings in approximately 5,000 tonnes of high
quality organic fertilizer every year. However, as the fertility of the farm improves steadily
our requirements will diminish because the soil becomes self-sustaining.