The South East England Soils Discussion Group (SEESOIL) is a vibrant group.
Dr Jack Hannam, Cranfield University – Chair
Dr Martin Lukac, University of Reading – Vice Chair
Dr Elena Vanguelova, Forest Research – Tree Planting Coordinator
Dr Tom Sizmur, University of Reading – IYS2015 Coordinator
Julian Gold, Hendred Farms
Biochar has been discussed as a greenhouse gas removal option and could hold benefits and risks in soil use. As a BSSS early careers member and MSc student at the University of Edinburgh, I would appreciate your time completing this anonymous survey about biochar's potential impact in the UK:
Participants will be entered into a drawing to win a £50 voucher!
Closing: 27 July
Zoom into Soil: Erosion will take place on Wednesday 2 September from 12:00 – 1:00pm and is free of charge for all delegates.
‘Zoom into Soil: Erosion’, will feature Professor Jane Rickson and farmer John Chinn who will discuss erosion from both an academic and practical perspective, setting out the challenges which erosion poses, proposed solutions and the long-term implications of erosion if left unchecked.
In her presentation, Professor Rickson will describe the main processes of soil erosion and the different types of erosion operating in the UK. She will present the evidence on the rates of soil loss and whether these are sustainable, especially in the light of extreme weather events and climate change. She will set to quantify the impacts of soil erosion in monetary terms, as this justifies the costs of soil conservation (soil erosion control) policy and practices.
Farmer John Chinn, will outline his first-hand experience with gulley erosion, the impact this had on his crop, the relationship with his customers and the Environment Agency as a result. John will set out how he has worked with Cranfield University to secure his farms from the long-term challenges associated with erosion, whilst maximising crop yields and accruing some thoughts on the meaning of soil health.
To book a place at the seminar visit Go To Webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8973969123043000590
‘Zoom into Soil’: A new online webinar series
A new lunchtime online webinar series, ‘Zoom into Soil’ is an opportunity for anyone with an interest in soil, the natural environment, agriculture and food production, to hear from respected technical and academic experts.
‘Nutrient Efficiency’ will take place on Wednesday 22 July from 12:00 – 1:00pm and is free of charge to attend.
Speakers, Richard Reeves and Martin Blackwell, will provide an overview of their experience from both practical and academic viewpoints.
Organised by the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS), delegates attending 'Nutrient Efficiency’ will hear from first generation farmer Richard Reeves and Dr Martin Blackwell, a senior research scientist at Rothamsted Research.
Richard Reeves’ 'from the farm' perspective, will set out the importance and role of managing soil nutrients, placing particular emphasis on recycled nutrients such as sludgecake and green waste and the significant impact the ways this waste is treated prior to application, can have. Richard will discuss the Met Office records that he has been keeping over many decades, the patterns emerging, and how these are impacting soils and the application of nutrients.
Martin Blackwell’s presentation, Caught between a rock and a hard place: how can we use phosphorus fertilisers more efficiently? will discuss the finite rock phosphate resources and the risk which the threat of this dwindling resource brings: protecting future food production. Martin will discuss the fundamental changes which need to be made to the way phosphorous fertilisers are sourced to maintain food supplies for a growing global population.
The hour-long session, which will also provide the opportunity for delegates to ask questions, will be available on the BSSS Youtube page after the event.
To book a place at the first seminar visit Go To Webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8466368584565601551.
BSSS will host future webinars on 2 September and 7 October, with further monthly dates and registration details to be announced.
Richard Reeves is a first generation farmer. Since 1981, he has farmed 800 acres of land in Cheshire, using a wide combination of crops on a range of different tenancies. Prior to this, in the 1970s, Richard was involved in farm management with Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) and worked closely with the Duke of Westminster. Richard obtained a BSc(Hons) in Agriculture from Leeds University, and in the last 15 years, he has kept a close affiliation with Lancaster University, hosting students visits to his farm. He has also been a visiting speaker for environmental science students, talking on a range of topics, including UK farming practices. Richard is a former Chairman of the National Farmers' Union's (NFU) North West Crops board, and was a spokeman on organic resources.
Dr Martin Blackwell is a Senior Research Scientist at Rothamsted Research, UK. He is a soil biogeochemist with over 25 years’ experience of studying both phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) cycling. Recent work has focussed on P use efficiency and P cycling in arable and grassland systems, the role of organic P in plant nutrition, and the development of better P fertiliser application rate recommendations.
Wednesday 3rd June 2020: 12:30 - 1:15pm
The IES and British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) have joined together to bring you the second episode in a series of webinars exploring the topic of sustainable soil remediation.
Traditionally, soil remediation is achieved by excavation and removal for off-site disposal. Often referred to as ‘dig and dump’, the very use of the phrase indicates that it’s a wasteful methodology.
Whilst, the use of dig and dump appeared to slow through the 2000s due to increasing charges brought about by the landfill tax escalator, its use has been enabled and even promoted in recent years through the operation of soil treatment sites and reclamation facilities.
In this presentation, TRC examine this process to explore the wider environmental impacts of this type of methodology i.e. air emissions, carbon impact, fuel consumption, traffic generation etc. And as environmental practitioners striving for more sustainable remediation options, we examine possible alternatives.
“Future Directions in Soil Science”
MEETING POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19
Wednesday 29th April - starts: 10am
A morning tour of Agri-tech (Robots!!!) and agri-environment projects and experiments
Followed by lunch and an afternoon of presentations on current soils research.
If you would like to give a talk please send a title to Andy Tye firstname.lastname@example.org
We are especially keen to provide PhD students the opportunity to present their work
BSSS members – Free
Student NON-Members - £15* *Proof of student status will be required at time of booking - please see payment page for details.
NON-Members - £20
Join us for the inaugural lecture in our 175th Anniversary Lecture Series
It is 175 years since the foundation of the Royal Agricultural University (then College). To mark this important milestone we will be holding a number of special events, including a series of public lectures and debates.
The inaugural lecture in our 175th Anniversary Lecture Series will be delivered by Richard Williamson, Managing Director of Beeswax Farming.
The lecture will focus on farming business strategy operating in a world with more pressure, more challenge, and less support.
Beeswax Dyson Farming is owned by Sir James Dyson and is one of the largest operators of land in the UK. RAU alumnus Richard began his outstanding career at Velcourt Limited where he was instrumental in identifying and progressing development opportunities including its expansion into mainland Europe.
This event starts at 6pm and will run for approximately one hour, after which you are also warmly invited to join us for a glass of wine to continue the conversation and meet other attendees.
There is no charge to attend this event.
For full details and to book your place please click the link below:
The South West BSSS Group is a group which aims to bring together soil professionals and enthusiasts from around the local area.
The evening is open to anyone interested / involved in soil work and is a perfect opportunity to join fellow professionals and discuss topical subjects, professional development and create networking opportunities.
Come and join us for a pint, some yummy food, and meet other people who work with soils around the area.
This will be an informal event with no speaker or set agenda, just a relaxed opportunity to get to know other members, and exchange ideas and approaches.
Evening runs 19:00 – 22:00 with a Buffet provided.
There's no charge but it's important that you let us know if you're coming so we have sufficient food!
MEETING POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19
We are contacting you as part of a NERC-BBSRC funded research project being carried out by researchers at Cranfield, Lancaster, and Nottingham Universities to identify the extent to which soil science currently contributes towards several industries, including water management, waste management, agriculture, ecosystem services and natural resources.
Paddling in the bath of a crimson horizon, a naked hedgerow is cleansed with the last drops of winter sunlight. In a while, the dusk will drape a robe of mist over the branches and the sunset will be a memory, held by a robin as it gazes on a red winter berry. Across a ploughed field in the far distance, a smudge appears. That smudge is me.
Farmers Weekly’s Soils In Practice is returning for two one-day conferences.
Soils in Practice brings together experts and industry professionals from across the UK agricultural sector, providing a platform to discuss the latest advances in boosting soil fertility and best practice in soil management.
The event aims to help farmers understand some of the practical steps that can be taken to measure and promote healthy soil in a sustainable farm setting.
Experts will present interactive theoretical and practical sessions on topics including: measuring soil components, nutrient management and pest mitigation, cover crops, organic matter utilisation and the likely implications of incoming legislation on soil health.
The original part of estate, 350-acre College Farm, entered the Smith family in 1938 as tenanted land and has been in the Smith family ever since. Land acquisitions and tenancies have seen it grow to its current size of almost 3,000 acres surrounding the south Cambridgeshire village of Duxford.
The current farm owner and manager, Robert Smith, joined the business in 1975 and has overseen the transition from a 1,000 acre cereal farm to an enterprise with a significant focus on vegetable production. the farm still grows 1,000 acres of wheat but now also includes 350 acres potatoes and 100 acres of onion which are sold to all the major supermarkets.
Since 1998, the farm has grown its organic production to over 400 acres, much of which is sold to Waitrose. This learnings from this change has led to reduced chemical use on the conventional, non-organic crops and the farm is keen to share these lessons with other farmers.
The majority of land is free-draining and sits on light sandy loam soil overlying gravel or chalk, with small pockets of clay throughout the farm. Minimal tillage is carried out on soils growing cereals and stale seedbeds are used to grow the farm’s organic produce, for potatoes and sugar beet deep cultivation is emplyed. To support the increased vegetable growth, the farm has invested in an extensive irrigation system comprising several on-site reservoirs and 28km of underground water mains.
Research & Innovation
Research and innovation are vital for the business and building strong relationships with the UK agricultural industry has meant that science can inform day-to-day farming practice. KWS and RAGT have research offices on the faarm and Syngenta and Bayer both run various crop trials on-site.
Robert is also a co-founder of AgriTech East, current member of Cambridge University agri-tech group and has invested in several agricultural technology start-ups including artificial intelligence company Hummingbird Technologies.
Environmental accountability and sustainable production are central tenets of the way Robert wants the farm to operate and is part of various steweardship and monitor farm programmes. They are a LEAF and Waitrose demonstration farm and 5% of the farm area is counted as higher level stewardship land.
• 1,000 acres of wheat • 300 acres of sugar beet
• 400 acres organic oats • 100 acres of onions
• 350 acres of potatoes •