The Week in Soil

Defra have announced first the Payment by Results agri-environment scheme directly funded by the UK.  The project is paying participating farmers in two areas - Norfolk and Suffolk in the East of England and Wensleydale in Yorkshire - for work that is specifically tailored to the environmental needs of their area.

What effect will the heatwave have on our soil ?  Scientists from the University of Manchester have provided more insight into how a drought alters soil at microbial level. It shows that expected changes in climate will affect UK soil - and that soil is not as tough as previously thought.

While US scientists are arguing that warming temperatures are causing more CO2 to be released by bacteria and fungi in the soil as they become more active.

It’s not all bad news though, Michael Gove says that global warming and the quality of UK soils mean our sparkling wine industry will compete with France’s.

And if you can’t grow grapes, then plants grown in well husbanded soils with raised humus content have suffered less from excessive rain and high temperatures – according to this article in Horticulture Week.

Why put manure on your soil when you could put it in your clothes instead – its just the latest example of ‘Biocouture’ – fashion made from degradeable sources…

Waitrose have announced the first own-brand compostable coffee pod enabling customers to ruse their coffee grounds as fertiliser.

A soil expert from the University of Newcastle studying fertility and nutrition in Fiji’s cane belt area.  He blames the practice of ‘ratooning’ where shoots from harvested cane were replenished and allowed to grow for 12 years or more had contributed to the poor health of soil.