Zoom into Zero Tillage with the BSSS

The British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) has announced the third in its lunchtime Zoom into Soil webinar series.

‘Zoom into Soil: Zero Tillage’ will feature Hannah Cooper and Russell McKenzie who will discuss the current academic literature related to zero-tillage, the extent to which it reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to more common conventional tillage methods and how these methods compare in practice.

The free lunch time Zoom into Soil: Zero Tillage webinar is scheduled for Wednesday 7th October from from 12 noon to 1pm.

Dr Hannah Cooper is a Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham. Her PhD thesis explored the impact of ploughing on greenhouse gas emissions, will highlight how changes in the management of agricultural soils can affect their role as a source or sink in the global carbon cycle, and the scale and composition of their greenhouse gas emissions.

Zero-tillage (sowing seed directly into unploughed soil) is an increasingly used as a strategy to minimise soil erosion, increase biological activity and promote soil aggregate stability. However, the extent to which it reduces greenhouse gas emissions and increases soil carbon storage, compared to the more common agricultural practice of conventional tillage, still unknown.

Russell McKenzie, is a Nuffield Scholar (2014) and Farm Manager at John Sheard Farms on the Cambridgeshire/Bedfordshire border. Like most farmers he has had a difficult year with huge extremes of weather during the growing season. Such extremes are more regular now than was the norm a few years ago, with climate change the key driver.

He will show how, even with last autumn’s difficult weather conditions, establishment of winter wheat was easier and better compared to crops under tillage regimes on his farms. He will reflect on how yields at harvest saw the performance of no-till autumn wheat crops outperform the cultivated crops and will highlight the value of investing efforts into better soil management, allowing soils to become more resilient to extreme weather conditions.

To book a place visit Zoom into Soil.

The previous webinars, featuring Cranfield University’s Professor Wilfred Otten, and Professor Jane Rickson are now available on YouTube.

The October webinar will be followed by the release of a Cross Journal Virtual Issue with 20 previously published papers relating to no-till farming from the European Journal of Soil Science (EJSS) and Soil Use and Management (SUM). It will be free to access online for a limited period in November and December.

For information about CHAP’s Soil Health solution click here, you can also read about the the CHAP Phenotyping and Soil Health Facility at Cranfield.

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