Webinar: Soil health & circular economy (2020)

A sustainable future for agriculture

As part of AgriTech Week 2020 NIAB hosted a virtual seminar 'Soil health and circular economy; a sustainable future for agriculture' on 13 November 2020.

British agriculture is under increasing pressure from wetter winters and hotter summers. Summer rainfall patterns are expected to shift, making extremes of drought and downfall increasingly likely. Research at NIAB is developing the tools British farming needs to face this adversity and to continue producing food in a sustainable manner. These talks outline the breadth of this research, from large-scale field-based agronomic field trials, to novel salad production using hydroponics, to collaboration with businesses working in the circular economy.

Session 1, part 1: 

  • Introduction: Use of farm waste, valorising for farm, soil inputs. Lydia Smith, Head of NIAB Innovation Farm and the Eastern Agri-Tech Innovation Hub
  • Keynote: Benchmarking your farm - where are the pinch points? Adrian Collins, Professor of Hydrology, Head of Department - Sustainable Agricultural Sciences, North Wyke Sustainable Agricultural Sciences, Rothamsted Research
  • Effects of organic soil on crop pests and diseases. Ralph Noble, Technical Director, Microbiotech Ltd

Session 1, part 2:

  • Herbal leys and animal grazing for improving arable soil - emerging knowledge from an ongoing trial at Duxford, Cambridgeshire. Patrick McKenna, Postdoctural Research Associate, NIAB (BBSRC - SARIC project)
  • Working with a complex variable soil - how to mix up treatments and amendments. Craig Livingstone, Farm and Estate Manager, Lockerley Estates
  • Session 1 panel question and answer session. Chaired by Lydia Smith, NIAB

Session 2:

  • Cover crops to optimise the use of digestate. Laura Bouvet, Agri-Tech E
  • ​Introduction to the EU funded project Hy4Dense technology to understand soil/monitoring. Graham Taylor, Research Scientist, NIAB
  • PlantWorks bacterial consortium mixes inoculum to use on farm. Natallia Gulbis, Technical and Arable Farming Lead, PlantWorks Ltd
  • Recyling waste minerals to provide sustainable crop nutrition. David Harrod, Payne Crop Nutrition Ltd
  • Salad/soil activities challenges and resolutions. Adam Lockwood, Managing Director, Lockwood Salads Ltd
  • Session 2 panel question and answer session. Chaired by Lydia Smith, NIAB

The question and answer document is available here.

A delegate information pack (including speaker profiles, agenda and project information) is available to download here.