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A national soil vulnerability-based framework for provision of farm-specific guidance on the management of soil structur - SP0305

Description
The impact of mechanised field operations on soil structure is influenced by a range of complex interacting factors, including climate, antecedent weather, soil properties and the nature of the machinery used. This study will aim to develop and clarify current understanding of the interactions and processes influencing soil structure. The study will be composed of 6 specific objectives outlined as follows, together with ways in which they might be achieved: 1. Classification of soil, climate and physiography of England and Wales. A climatic/physiographic/land use zonation system and a soil type classification system (using texture and natural drainage characteristics as principle inputs) will be constructed. The 2 systems should be relevant to the study objectives; 2. Review of current understanding and knowledge relating to soil structure, and the effects of cultivation and other soil management practices. Information on the development and nature of soil structure and factors influencing the nature of soil structure will be acquired. In addition, soil description and quantification systems and information on spatial and temporal variations in soil structure will be surveyed. Information on tillage and other mechanised field operations will also be collated; 3. Review of qualitative and quantitative systems of soil structure characterisation. The most appropriate system will be selected for use in the project and included in a technical guide; 4. Construction of a risk assessment matrix. A quantitative system will be developed for describing the relative vulnerability of soil to structural damage within soil types and climatic/physiographic zones. This will be combined with information collected in the previous objective in order to create a risk assessment matrix indicating which soils are at greatest risk of structural damage given current tillage and mechanised field operations; 5. Validation of the vulnerability classes and risk assessment matrix. Field work on representative farms and soils (with associated laboratory research) will be conducted to investigate and characterise soil types in relation to farming practices. This work will be used to validate the vulnerability, damage potential and combined risk assessment matrix; and 6. Development of a system for farm-specific advice on soil structure management. Results from the study will be translated into a simple, user-friendly and well illustrated text on good soil structure management. The text will be written in a form that complements the existing Code of Good Agricultural Practice and could appear as a separate technical guide for farmers.
Project Documents
• Final Report : A national soil vulnerability-based framework for provision of farm-specific guidance on the management of soil structur   (93k)
• Final Report : A national soil vulnerability-based framework for provision of farm-specific guidance on the management of soil structure - Word version   (157k)
• Final Report - Annex : A national soil vulnerability-based framework for provision of farm-specific guidance on the management of soil structure - Annex 1   (52k)
• Final Report - Annex : Links to published documents   (23k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1997

To: 2000

Cost: £254,891
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Soil Survey and Land Research Centre, Scottish Crop Research Institute, University - Silsoe College
Keywords
              
Fields of Study
Soil Protection