Soil Management for Sustainable Food Production and Environmental Protection
Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship 2017
"The health of soil, plant, animal and man is one and indivisible” (Balfour 1943)
Aims of the Churchill Fellowship
I hope to achieve the following on my travels to the USA and Europe:
1. Assessment of conventional and alternative soil analysis and management techniques. Visiting laboratories and advisers working with alternative soil analysis and management strategies including Albrecht Base Cation Exchange Capacity analysis and Soil Life analysis. Visiting farms with a long track record of using such techniques. Assessment of farm results where available. Identify if possible research evidence to support the techniques. Through these activities I expect to achieve a better understanding of the practical implementation of the different analytical techniques and the potential for more widespread use in the UK.
2. Understanding of the impact of different farming systems on production, soil nutrients and the environment. Visiting research sites and commercial farms and assessment of results. I expect to be able to be able to assess the long-term viability of different farming systems, rotations and the use of compost from a soil perspective and understand the implications for UK farming.
3. Management and consequences for water quality and flow programmes. Visiting catchment projects to assess results of targeted management. I expect to be able to learn from the experiences of others managing land for water quality and flow objectives.
Some of the places and people
that I will visit during the project
Rodale, Pennsylvania, USA www.rodaleinstitute.org
Gary Zimmer, Wisconsin, USA http://www.midwesternbioag.com
Adviser specializing in Albrecht analyses
and soil management
Cornell University, New York, USA
Research and extension in soil management.
FiBL, Switzerland http://www.fibl.org/en/switzerland/
35-year Farming System trial
The International Centre for Research
in Organic Food Systems , Denmark
Organic Valley farmers , USA
ACRES USA Conference https://www.acresusa.com