The Week in Soil

The Guardian has laid out a comprehensive list of changes that will need to be made for the UK to meet the net zero 2050 commitment set by Theresa May in her last week as PM. Agriculture is named as a key emitter, with better soil management highlighted – along with a link to Gove’s statement at the SSA’s 2018 parliamentary event.

This Farmers Guardian piece on the recent Environment Agency report on the state of soils in England highlights the catastrophic impact of increasing urbanisation on soil health, with the SSA responding to the report to call for a ‘coherent, tangible government strategy’ and ‘policy framework that reflects the scale and complexity of the issue.’

The Soil Association released a new report this week interrogating the government’s claims of a ‘Green Brexit’ and laying out the implications of different EU Exit scenarios on food, farming and the environment. Read the report in full here.

A new AHDB research project is trialling a traffic light and MOT system with soil health indicator monitoring scorecards in an attempt to save UK soils.

An interdisciplinary project from Exeter University is tackling the significant problem of soil erosion in Tanzania with a socio-psychological approach, working with pastoralists to identify communities’ views of the problem, identifying barriers and opportunities for sustainable change and co-developing solutions.

An agri-tech start up in America is all set to start paying farmers for carbon capture. The new Boston-based group Indigo wants to create a market for selling carbon credits to companies, in efforts to tackle climate change. This more in-depth piece from the Washington Post explains how soil-based carbon storage could work.

Satellites and drones are being used to identify soil loss and run-off problems in wet conditions, or farms that could be at risk if they do not improve their soil management practices.