Looking after your soil can bring both economic and environmental benefits, farmers attending a Farm Business Update (FBU) meeting were told.
Rob Holland of Anglian Water said that the UK’s soils contained more carbon than the UK’s forests and there was massive potential to store carbon in soils in the future.
Speaking at the update meeting at Dereham, Norfolk, he said soil had an extraordinary capacity to store water, as well as limiting the spread of pesticides and nutrients into watercourses.
"Soil is a key part of the water cycle. How fast it moves through, what it picks up, and what comes out into the watercourses not only affects our business, it affects your businesses in terms of what you are losing from your farm," he said.
He said farmers could look after their soil in a variety of ways, including planting cover crops, growing a more diverse range of crops, and reducing tillage.
Mr Holland was speaking at one of seven FBU meetings taking place across the region, arranged by organisations including the CLA, NFU, Championing the Farmed Environment (CFE), the Environment Agency, the Catchment Sensitive Farming Partnership and representatives from local water companies.