David Kinnersley & Tom Beeley

Head of Agribusiness / Graduate Surveyor  -  Fisher German

Natural Capital and Fisher German’s Soil Matrix

About David Kinnersley & Tom Beeley

David is a Partner and Head of Agribusiness, providing farm consultancy and management services. He also specialises in Anaerobic Digestion (AD) within the Sustainable Energy sector. David has been involved with over 70 AD projects, from small scale to large gas to grid projects across the UK, from Scotland to the Isle of Wight. His AD work has included feasibility studies and due diligence reports for lending, as well as negotiating terms for site leases to developers and crop supply agreements. David''s role in the Farms team includes farm business consultancy, subsidy and grant schemes, as well as farm management across the central Midlands. Work has included large farming businesses, including one in Russia and the Ukraine.
Before joining Fisher German in 2008, David worked for Velcourt and Bidwells. David graduated from Reading University with a degree in Agriculture, gaining a Masters in Business Administration in 2003.

Tom is a Graduate Surveyor based in the Market Harborough office, having completed an MSc in Rural Estate Management at the Royal Agricultural University in 2018. He has an undergraduate degree in Geography, Environment and Development from Durham University.
Prior to a return to studying, Tom spent 10 years advising on energy and sustainability, most recently as a policy adviser for the Country Land and Business Association and previously with the Carbon Trust. He has experience of renewable energy and energy efficiency, particularly in relation to rural business as well as knowledge of carbon reporting. Tom is leading Fisher German’s natural capital and biodiversity net gain agenda for Fisher German.

Ahead of the Environment Bill, the government launched online guidance and tools in early 2020, badged as Enabling a Natural Capital Approach (ENCA) which, for the first time, brings together a comprehensive set of resources that should enable easier and clearer ways of valuing natural capital. The government had already indicated through the 25 Year Environment Plan that it recognised the inherent value of soil and consequently the importance of soil quality. As a result, Fisher German swiftly identified an opportunity for landowners and farmers to measure and then monitor their soil as a way of both improving productivity and the investment value of their land.

Fisher German has developed an innovative technique of assessing and monitoring soil health & quality. Our Soils Matrix, developed in partnership with agronomy specialist Indigro, allows landowners to gain a scientific analysis of the soil they own and potentially quantify returns on money invested in soil health improvement in an accessible way.

For farmers focused on the lowest cost of production and improving productivity the Soils Matrix offers a way of benchmarking. For anyone interested in soil health, the Soils Matrix provides a current snapshot as well as suggesting techniques that are most likely to improve soil health in the future.

Fisher German and Indigro’s Soils Matrix is driven by a complex computer programme, which calculates weighted scores from the values of a carefully selected set of parameters. These are chosen on the basis that they are essential to monitor the soil’s value, protect the current value for its owner and potentially aim for its improvement.

There are clear benefits of improving organic matter in soil. A 1% increase in a soil’s organic matter:
• raises water-holding capacity by around 224,000 litres per hectare
• provides sufficient food for around 1,000kg earthworm biomass
• lifts soil’s mineral nitrogen by approximately 100kg per hectare

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