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Stackyard News Apr 2012

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Soil and Water Management Crucial in Weathering Perfect Storm

Professor Dick Godwin of Harper Adams University College will speak about the important role soil and water management plays.

Professor Richard Godwin

Professor Richard Godwin

This increased demand for food is the theme of IAgrE’s 2012 Landwards Conference “Weathering the Perfect Storm – who do you want in your lifeboat?” The conference will consider the issues raised by the Foresight Report on Food and Farming.

The management of soil and water ranges from the management of flood risk, soil erosion, drainage and the storage of run-off and deep percolation, through to the micro-management of the soil-water environment for the production of food, feed and fibre.

It is the management of the soil’s environmental factors that makes a significant difference in improving crop yield for given levels of fertility and plant genetic capability.

“In order to sustain agricultural output, we must maintain and improve soil structure. Hence we need to reduce soil compaction by using vehicles with rubber tracks, lower ground pressure tyres and automatic inflation control. In addition controlled traffic systems have shown yield improvements of at least 10 percent over conventional traffic management. Adoption of these systems becomes easier with the improved accuracy of global positioning systems (GPS) and vehicle steering aids. Many farmers have adopted some components of these systems but have yet to fully integrate them,” said Professor Godwin.

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