The importance of soil health At Cereals 2017, there was a lot of interest in the Soil Pit, which was sponsored by NIAB TAG and Rothamsted Research. Farmers could see a worm’s eye view of soil structures and rooting systems from a variety of crops with different drilling dates and cover crop mixtures. There is growing concern amongst growers that soil health is affecting crop vigour and yields, which ultimately hits the bottom line. The Soil Pit revealed the different rooting habits of various cover crops as well highlighting the effects of different cultivation techniques used to alleviate soil compaction. Combined with declining soil organic matter levels, poor soil structure can reduce cereal yields by up to 60%. Prevention is better than cure but when crops are affected by stress, the value of products such as AlgaFlex seaweed extract become even more important.