Improving soil health: 8 features on fieldmargin you can use for your records

Improving soil health: 8 features on fieldmargin you can use for your records

We all know that soil is a farm’s most important asset. As well as better yields, keeping it healthy and increasing organic matter means a better environment and resilience to future climate change.

Of a list of potential new features we shared in our 2022 survey the most commonly selected was the addition of Soil testing recording (32%). This is why we are putting an article together to share what features fieldmargin already offers:

  1. 📍 Save soil sampling locations 

Using notes on fieldmargin you can use standardized soil sampling techniques to achieve a representative sample is key. The use of notes provides an accurate GPS location of each point when you are in the field. This gives the sampling greater location accuracy.

  1. 📝 Add your soil type as a description on a field

Set an ID and add descriptions to each field by clicking the Edit buttons in the field view. The ID can be used for any schemes you are part of and the description can be used to add your soil types. You can use the description box for any information you want though. This is a new feature that is only available on the web platform at the moment. 

  1. 🗂You can attach a file of soil analysis results to the note

Testing soil should be accessible for farmers and growers, and it’s important to make sure that the soil test and the soil laboratory used are consistent to provide more accurate results.

Most often you will receive your soil analysis results as a .pdf file. A quick way to be able to store/share and view in the field is to upload the files to a note. 

An important bonus of this feature is that you can then open this file in the field from your mobile phone. It is also easy to share with others and becomes part of your field history. 

Files can only be uploaded on the web platform but you are able to view the files on mobile while you are in the field.

  1. 📸 Save condition and structure details as photographs 

Healthy soil has a good balance of physical, chemical, and biological properties. We are talking to lots of users that are making an effort to conduct key tests on the farm more. 

With fieldmargin, you can save photographs attached to notes. Add pictures by tapping the ‘+’ button to the left of the comment bar and selecting ‘Add a photo’. You will then be able to take a photo or choose one that is stored on your phone.

  1. 🗺 You can upload any soil maps that you have using map uploader

Soil maps can show the distribution of soil type or nutrient quantity across a farm. Map Uploader allows you to take existing maps that you have of your farm and digitize them so that they can easily be referred to alongside your other farming records and be stored safely.

You can open these maps while you are in the field which comes in handy during farm scouting. These maps can be instantly shared with advisors and other people on the team by inviting them to join your farm. 

  1. 🍀 Record and plan your rotations and include your cover crop records

Cover crops are crops that are not harvested but are grown to protect and enrich soil between periods of regular crop production. They help add organic matter to the soil, reduce erosion and run-off caused if the soil is left bare, increase soil biodiversity, conserve soil moisture, and help protect water quality.

Between 2014 and 2015 the total area of cover crops, nitrogen-fixing crops, and fallow land increased by 45%, 29%, and 19% respectively. 

Farm Years on fieldmargin allows you to get a view of cropping for past and upcoming years. For each year you can update the usages for your fields and view cropping reports. This means you have a visual plan of what happens in your fields. 

Coming soon: we are working to be able to archive fields in fieldmargin. This means you will more easily be able to record multiple crops in a season. This will help with recording shorter crop rotations and cover cropping. 

  1. 💧 Track rain fall and irrigation levels 

A lot of the farmers we work with experience a long period of drought. Improving soil health, in particular organic matter content, can maximize the benefit of the supply of water from irrigation and rainfall by increasing infiltration rates and water-holding capacity. 

You can use fieldmargin data monitoring sites to record rain readings Instead of using paper or notebooks, they can add reading directly to a phone. The data is saved on the cloud and shared instantly. 

fieldmargin also has an easy-to-use analysis tool that instantly produces graphs from your data. You can easily visualize weather patterns over time by viewing weather record graphs over one week, one month, and one year.

  1. 🚜 Keep records of drainage maintenance 

Good drainage is essential for healthy soil. It extends grazing seasons on grassland and improves the workability of arable land. Poorly drained soils are slow to warm in the spring, increase weed burdens, reduce the length of the growing season, and compromise harvesting.

Given the significant cost of installing a new field drainage system, cleaning ditches and clearing outfalls is a simple, cheap, and effective method of improving the effectiveness of existing systems. However, it is work that often does not get done or takes far longer than it should thanks to difficulty locating drains and outfalls using the plans available.

You can use fieldmargin to map out the drainage on your farm and digitize the maps for drainage management. In this example, we created a feature type called ‘Drain outlets’ and mapped all of the drain outlets shown on the maps to that we had uploaded feature points. This means that when we come to clean drains we can see exactly where we need to go using the map on the mobile app.

You can also get started trying fieldmargin for free. Sign up and start setting up a farm here:


You can find out more about our plans and pricing here.

If you have any questions or need help getting started you can email us at

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