The James Hutton Institute’s “best soil in show” award has been won by Moray organic farmers, Roger and Beth Polson from Knock Farm near Huntly.
Their 1,100-acre farm carries breeding cows and sheep and has a crop rotation of two years spring barley followed by five years of grass.
Accepting his award at the Royal Highland Show, Mr Polson said that maintaining the health and vitality of soils was fundamental to the holistic approach he took to farm management.
“Soil structure, soil life and nutrient balance are all monitored regularly and have been for many years, well before we began farming organically 11 years ago,” he said.
“It is great that these organisations are promoting this competition to highlight the importance of good soil management to the sustainable development of agriculture in Scotland.”
Fife farmer Alistair Brunton won the competition’s young farmer category.
The award was for a sample of soil taken from Balmonth Farm, near Carnbee.
The 260-acre farm grows wheat, spring and winter barley and also carries a herd of cattle and a flock of sheep.
Mr Brunton was thrilled with his win and paid tribute to the generations that had cared for the land he now farms.
He said: “Over the past 50 years my grandfather and father have worked hard to improve the nutrient status at Balmonth. The new technology that is now available will allow us to fine tune applications when that is what is needed.”