HROC (agency) - Kubota
Farminguk
26 May 2016 | Online since 2003
Auto Trader Ltd


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

Comment

Please enter your comment


Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.


Comments

World News

New Zealand | 26 May 2016
Milk price prediction means prolonged doubt for farmers

Farmers are resigned to another tight season after Fonterra confirmed its milk price at $4.25 for the coming season. Dairy chairman Andrew Hoggard said: "Many were hopeful of a price in the vicinit...


Canada | 26 May 2016
Alberta's farm safety talks are missing farmers

Alberta's controversial farm safety bill is set to be examined by consultants next month — but only 30 per cent of group are actual farmers. Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier and Labour Minister C...


France | 26 May 2016
French poultry firm LDC sees tougher year ahead

France's largest poultry processor LDC on Wednesday forecast a slight fall in operating profit for its 2016/17 financial year, citing weak demand and the risk of higher grain costs. Poultry demand ...


USA | 26 May 2016
John Deere earnings review: Weakness in agriculture

The continuing downturn in the global agriculture industry along with the weakening of construction equipment market has been impacting the performance of John Deere DE +1.07% for the last few quarter...


Australia | 26 May 2016
Australian dairy farmers rally against low milk prices

Struggling dairy farmers and their families have paraded through the streets of major Australian cities to protest against the low milk prices driving them out of business. Hundreds of angry farmer...



Trending Now

Viewed
Discussed

Farms and Land for sale

PropertyLocation
PropertyAgent
PropertyMinimumPrice
PropertyMaximumPrice
PropertyCategory

Holiday Rentals search

AccommodationKeyword
AccommodationType
AccommodationCounty
AccommodationStarRating


Top stories you may have missed
closeicon
Username
Password