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Practical cost-effective techniques to reduce pollution from tramlines in combinable crops: a field and catchment scale evaluation - LK09109

This project addresses the need for practical, affordable, and targeted management of fields with combinable crops to help reduce losses of soil, phosphorus and nitrogen from land to water courses to support sustainable farming and catchment management. Recent Defra-funded research (MOPS: PE0206) has shown conclusively (P<0.01) for combinable crops that over 80% of over-winter losses of suspended and total sediment, total phosphorus and total nitrogen in surface runoff, on moderate slopes on both lighter and heavier soils, are associated with unvegetated and compacted tramline wheelings. Exploratory work has shown, in principle, that eradicating compacted tramlines once in the autumn can be a highly effective method for reducing runoff and associated pollutant losses. Further work is now needed to refine tramline management methods based on robust scientific evaluations, operationalise techniques for different soil types and soil conditions, and quantify their effectiveness at a range of scales. This proposal builds on recent Defra-funded research and will:
(i) evaluate the effectiveness of different practical tramline management options across a range of soil types and climatic conditions (low ground pressure tyres, tines/discs etc).
(ii) use results from (i) to develop and test novel model functions characterising the effectiveness of tramline mitigation options at field and catchment scales
(iii) assess the cost-effectiveness of the tramline management options evaluated in (i) and associated implications for pollution swapping and carbon “footprinting”, and
(iv) appraise the efficacy and limitations of different approaches for tramline management to inform policy (e.g. Defra’s Environmental Stewardship scheme), and provide guidance to the farming industry.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : pr559-final-project-report   (3248k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2008

To: 2014

Cost: £598,999
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Home Grown Cereals Authority, Scottish Crop Research Institute, The Bulmer Foundation, Simba International Ltd, Severn Trent Water Ltd, Wright Resolutions Ltd, LEAF, Michelin Tyre PLC, AGCO Ltd, Scottish Society for Crop Research, National Farmers Union, Chafer Machinery Ltd, Mylnefield Research Services Ltd, ADAS UK Ltd., Allerton Research and Educational Trust
Integrated Farming Systems              
Sustainable Farming and Food Science              
Sustainable Farming Systems