RASE launches soil and water management survey

A nationwide survey of farmers in arable and grassland regions across the UK is to be carried out by the Royal Agricultural Society as part of a major initiative to improve soil and water management.

Climate change, rising costs and consumer demand for minimising the environmental impact of food production are all making the management of soil and water resources a vital area for farming in the years ahead, says RASE.

“Farming uses a significant share of the UK’s available water so the industry has to make its case that it manages its resources effectively.

“RASE is launching two years of activity in this area with a major, interactive conference planned for autumn of this year, followed by some regional, practical on-farm days in 2013.

“The research, which will be carried out by telephone and online, will probe farmers’ activity in drainage and water storage,” says RASE chief executive Dennis Chamberlain.

RASE is working as part of a cross industry group including the NFU, Environment Agency, AHDB, the Association of Drainage Authorities, the National Association of Agricultural Contractors and the newly formed Soil Centre at Harper Adams University College.