The Week in Soil

Soil quality features heavily in last week’s government consultation on the future of UK farming, Health & Harmony. So far reactions to the document have been lukewarm, with industry and campaigners flagging its lack of detail or clarity on what to expect from post Brexit agriculture policy.

Meanwhile 89 organisations responded to Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee inquiry into the 25-Year Environment Plan.  The Committee proposes to examine key decisions around the Plan’s overall ambition and approach.

The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre highlights report:  Soil, how much do we value this critical resource has been published.  It includes the plan to measure soil biodiversity through DNA metabarcoding later in 2018.

The Beast from the East brought with it winds and freezing temperatures – and a new term:  “snoil” - the ‘cappuccino-like’ mixture of snow and topsoil eroded from the land surface.

The Chinese National People's Congress is considering proposals to strengthen soil protection measures – among a raft of environmental measures planned to address the country’s pollution problem and its Paris climate change commitments.

Unilever, Danone and General Mills are among the businesses developing a global verification standard to encourage farmers to grow food in a manner that restores the carbon cycle and build soil health, crop resilience, and nutrient density.

The Soil Association’s 'Muck and Money' events reached Scotland this week.  Under the nationwide scheme farmers are invited to bring a spadeful of their poorest soil to get expert analysis and advice.

SSA News

Our response to Parliament’s EAC 25 Year Environment Plan Inquiry is one of the 89 that were submitted and can be viewed here.

There’s less than a week to go until our Parliamentary event to debate the Plan and its impact on soils.  The meeting takes place on Tuesday and the full programme can be found here.