Annual Winter Conference
Organised by the Soil & Water Management Centre
(conference repeated on 20th and 21st November in Yorkshire and Essex respectively.
See Soil & Water Management Centre’s events page for more details)
5 BASIS and NRoSO points applied for
09.30 Registration and refreshments
10.00 Soil Security
Speaker: Professor Chris Collins, Reading University
How can we secure our supply of food using less land with lower inputs? Chris is the co-ordinator of a multi-million euro research investment to understand how soils resist, recover and ultimately adapt to land use and climate change. The Soil Security Programme hopes to fill these knowledge gaps by adopting a novel, multi-disciplinary, multi-scale approach.
10.30 Sustainable Soil Management
Speaker: Dr Emily Pope, AHDB
Emily will speak about the Strategic Farm West platform which aims to integrate research and practical farming in a way that has the potential to change farming for the better. Trials are being conducted that test the results of research in a real farm environment and will communicate the full net-margin cost benefit of a particular strategy.
11.20 Improving nutrient use efficiency
Speakers: Dr Jonathan Leake, University of Sheffield
Re-introducing grass leys into arable rotations to improve soil structure and nutrient use efficiency – how much do the arable crops benefit, is nutrient use efficiency improved and are plants and the soil healthier?
11.50 Protecting soil, water and air
Speaker: Philippa Mansfield and Jeremy Sabel, Natural England CSF
Practical techniques to reduce soil and nutrient losses from farming – farmers working with the Catchment Sensitive Farming partnership to improve water and air quality.
13.00 Commercial & practical session
This session will show the wealth of wildlife that exists in soils and how best to protect it by appropriate cultivation and by setting tyre pressures to maximise efficiency and reduce compaction. (HAU, Kverneland, Fendt & Trelleborg)
14.15 Farmer Case Studies
Sam Walker, an organic beef and arable farmer at Stantyway Farm, Offerton has lectured at Duchy, and now has a higher tier Countryside Stewardship agreement and will talk about his approach to improving the health of his soils and farm in general.
Andrew Hurford runs a dairy farm near Colyton and has made improvements to his farm buildings, yards, slurry store and parlour and introduced green bedding and a new manure handling system with advice from Catchment Sensitive Farming.
14.45 Agrocycle/Horizon 20/20
Speakers: Dr Simon Jeffery (HAU) and Andrew Richards (Agrii)
Simon and Andrew will report on an EU funded project that’s been looking at the impact of organic wastes on soil and plant health.
15.15 Discussion/closing session