Organic matter used to improve the soil

CCRI’s Dr Matt Reed spoke on the Kate Clark programme on BBC Radio Gloucestershire yesterday (10th December) about the importance of soil and how the CCRI is working on EU funded projects to identify ways in which soil quality can be improved through cropping systems and techniques.

This interview followed on from World Soil Day,dedicated to the theme “Caring for the Planet starts from the ground’, which we celebrated on 5th December.

Kate Clark told listeners that England has lost 84% of its fertile soil since 1850, with erosion continuing at a rate of 1- 3 cm a year and Matt added that it takes up to 500 years to create 3cm of topsoil, highlighting the need to be mindful and careful of our soil.

Matt explained that one of our biggest problems is soil erosion, caused by run-off water where soil is not secured and the water moves soil into rivers and ditches, which can then silt up.

He talked about how the CCRI is currently working with farmers and scientists to find new ways to secure and improve our soil, including new soil improving cropping systems, application of different types of organic material, use of cover crops and non-tillage systems.

There will be a follow up programme in the Spring when Kate will visit local farmers with an CCRI soil expert to talk about the techniques the farmers are adopting to improve their soil and stop soil erosion.

Matt’s interview can be heard at 2.16.40 into the programme

World Soil Day is held annually on 5th December to highlight the importance of soil on Earth. We need soil for basic survival – food and energy.

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