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To quantify the effects of cultivations on soil stability and on organic matter - SP0303

Description
SP0303. Soil and environmental protection.

Soil management practices designed to improve both soils and crops need to be quantified to ensure that the environment is protected and that farm gross margins are maintained. This study will aim to identify and quantify the physical effects of cultivation methods on vulnerable soils in order to develop guidelines for soil management which can minimise adverse environmental consequences of agricultural and other soil management practices. Soil management practices investigated will include tillage, control of wheel traffic (to minimise soil compaction) and their timing in relation to weather and soil conditions, and straw incorporation. Measurement techniques will be developed and equipment built and tested for determining a range of key soil physical properties. These techniques will then be used to analyse a range of soil types exposed to different soil management practices, such as types and intensities of tillage and wheel traffic and combinations of these. Another series of experiments will be conducted in order to devize environmentally acceptable methods of straw incorporation and crop establishment that are cost and energy effective. Data will also be obtained on the plough resistance of trafficked and untrafficked clay soil; the use of rubber tracks rather than tyres on tractors and their effects on soil compaction will be studied. Results of these studies will lead to a preliminary set of recommendations for soil management practices that minimise adverse environmental consequences while at the same time being consistent with sustainable and efficient production.

NB: The project proposal for SP0303 is identical to that of RD0103; corresponding abstracts are also identical.

Objective
To identify and quantify the physical effects of cultivation methods on vulnerable soils and to advise on amelioration. To devise environmentally acceptable methods of straw incorporation and crop establishment that are cost and energy effective. To reduce damage to soil structure through fundamental advances in tractive elements, such as rubber tracks.
Project Documents
• Final Report : To quantify the effects of cultivations on soil stability and on organic matter   (389k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1991

To: 1997

Cost: £620,862
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Silsoe Research Institute (BBSRC)
Keywords
              
Fields of Study
Soil Protection