HROC (agency) - Kubota
Farminguk
28 September 2016 | Online since 2003
Briefing Media - FG Classified


7 February 2014 05:07:27 |News

Agricultural engineers call for renewed focus into soil and water drainage


The Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) calls for renewed focus into soil and water drainage.
Commenting on the recent appalling weather and devastation to farmlands Alastair Taylor IAgrE CEO said: “The current extreme weather is definitely bringing into emphasis how the nation has neglected land drainage and flood mitigation work. This brings into focus the role of agricultural engineers, specialising in soil and water engineering, in preventing, or at least minimising the impact of any future weather event.”
The country’s inability to cope could be demonstrated by the fact that a number of land drainage systems, mostly installed in the 60s and 70s, are ill equipped to deal with the heavy rainfall, with silting and damaged existing pipe work being common problems. Mike Hann, drainage consultant, Chartered Engineer and IAgrE Fellow comments that mole drainage, very commonly practised in heavy soil regions, often has a life-span of less than 30 – 40 years rendering the soils liable to much greater levels of run-off contributing to flooding.
Farmers are discovering first hand why they need to invest in improvements to their land drainage and many are beginning to factor drainage operations into their annual timetable.
IAgrE Fellow and Chartered Environmentalist Jane Rickson who is a soil science specialist added: “Flooding not only occurs when water tables are high; a lot of the flooding is due to soil condition (and not just saturated soil profiles). Infiltration of rain water into the soil is severely limited by loss of soil structure due to compaction. The use of increasingly larger and heavier machinery causing soil surface smearing, especially on wet soils. High animal stock densities, over working the soil, losses of organic matter, soil biology and so on all add to the problem.
You often find the soil is relatively dry over a spade-depth down because water cannot infiltrate – it was certainly the case during the floods around Tewkesbury a few years ago. Without soil and water storage, flooding risk is increased.”
Many drainage schemes are poorly maintained (sometimes deliberately so for ecological restoration, other times due to lack of investment/financial support). The concern is that draining land or dredging of channels will simply send the flood water somewhere else, possibly at a faster rate, so peak floods might be even higher in downstream areas … possibly urban areas with higher population densities.
Summing up Alastair Taylor said: “It is important that lessons are learnt from this current crisis. We need more agricultural engineers with an understanding of soil and water engineering. Environmental courses and training programmes need to include more focus on this vital subject. We need environmentalist to have a better understanding of the agricultural engineering solutions to this significant challenge.”
Mike Hann adds, “Improved soil management results in improved soil/ water storage which will lower the risk of flash-floods, especially downstream.”

Download

1 Comment

loginuserlogo
Name

Please enter your name


Email

Please enter your email

Please enter valid email


Comment

Please enter your comment


Post Comment

Your comment has been submitted successfully. Please wait for admin approval.


Comments


New Zealand | 28 September 2016
Weed free crops? Science may have the answer

Australian scientists are working on a revolutionary new way to help farmers rid their crops of weeds. With billions of dollars lost by farmers every year because of weeds, scientists from Charles ...


Puerto Rico | 28 September 2016
Puerto Rico finds unexpected source of growth in agriculture

Puerto Ricans are buying rice produced on the island for the first time in nearly 30 years. They are also eating locally grown mushrooms, kale and even arugula, along with more traditional crops such ...


USA | 28 September 2016
U.S. farmer lawsuits over Syngenta GMO corn granted class status

A U.S. district court judge in Kansas this week said lawsuits brought by U.S. farmers against seed company Syngenta AG over sales of biotech corn seeds not approved for import by China can proceed as ...


France | 28 September 2016
French cows die after eating all winter stock in one night

Almost half of a 50-strong herd of cows in western France ate themselves to death after chomping on the equivalent of a whole winter’s rations in just one night. The farmer in the Loire-Atlantique ...


Japan | 28 September 2016
2 companies pioneering purchases of Japanese farmland

Photo album giant Nakabayashi and home remodeler Sanyo Amnak will become the first businesses to buy Japanese farmland under a new strategic zone regulation aimed at raising agricultural productivity....



Trending Now

Viewed
Discussed


Top stories you may have missed
FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Labour will end the badger cull and prioritise ending bovine TB, Shadow Def...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A herd of rare White Park cattle could die out if its owners do not urgentl...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The UK government is "failing" to support farmers in the long-term accordin...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Retailer Co-op has announced that from May 2017 all of its bacon and lamb w...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Over 50 wildlife organisations have compiled a stock-take of all the UK's n...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

In the run up to the EU farm ministers meeting the agricultural sector have...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The RPA must iron out a number of problems that still exist with 2015 BPS p...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Tourism businesses in the countryside are being held back due to the uncert...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A 24 point action plan aimed at revitalising Scotland's sheep sector after ...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A new survey has revealed that the vast majority of British consumers belie...


closeicon
Username
Password