16th July 2018
It’s all go at Cranfield Soil Health Unit
Following the completion of the commissioning project, the Soil Health Facility is in full flow with five projects starting this month. A large BBSRC funded project will over a period of three years look at the efficacy of roots of different cover crops to bioengineer soil. All 24 soil lysimeters have been filled again and crops are beginning to emerge. Meanwhile, on the benches, we have four projects starting which make use of the integrated Agri-EPI sensor platform. The first two projects, led through Agri-EPI, are (1) looking at early detection of mildew in onions, and (2) determining the canopy structure of different weeds for spray deposition modelling. The other two projects are funded under the new Johnson Matthey Agritech Partnership Programme which offers intensive support to accelerate the market translation of high impact innovations. These projects evaluate “Water Retainer” to prevent soil moisture loss and increase crop yields, and the efficacy of endophytic bacteria to facilitate nitrogen fixing in crops.