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Further analysis of soil cultivation practise (follow up to SP0304) (old WA0644) - SP0309

The aim of this project is to identify how current cultivation practices impact on the soil and its surrounding environment. This will be achieved by a re-analysis of data collected as part of SP0304. Further analysis of this data will allow the examination of alternative relationships between soil type, climate, erosion, crop residue management, and soil management techniques. This will enable these factors to be examined against physical and environmental relationships in soils derived in other current research work. The expectation is that this work will be communicated to farmers and growers as improved guidelines, codes of practice, etc. This work could also highlight gaps in knowledge that is needed to meet MAFF policy goals.
The overall objective is to identify how current cultivation practices impact on the soil and its surrounding environment.

In more detail the specific objectives of the project are:

(1) Review data collected during cultivation practices survey (ADAS, 1996) to identify additional information which will be useful in assessing the environmental impact of different tillage practices. A preliminary review has identified soil erosion, crop residue management, primary and secondary cultivation practices, drainage, soil compaction and tractor equipment use as areas where more detailed information can be obtained.

(2) Re-analysis of survey data based on a series of questions prepared during the review (1). This work will be carried out by ADAS.

(3) Interpretation of data revealed by the reanalysis (2), which when combined with the original survey analysis (Chamen and Parkin, 1996), will provide a fuller picture of how current tillage practices impinge on the environment.

(4) Produce a series of recommendations based on (1), (2) and (3) which could form the basis of new codes of practice for farmers and identify gaps in current knowledge that would help define future research needs. The resulting data would also benefit MAFF in meeting its strategic aim, to protect and enhance the rural environment and to improve the economic performance of agriculture.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1997

To: 1998

Cost: £12,316
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Silsoe Research Institute (BBSRC)
Fields of Study
Soil Protection