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Partnership to develop run-off tool app

soil runoff
Soil runoff
“I am delighted that we were able to use our knowledge of Scottish soils to help refine and test this important management tool.This app gives land managers a tool to better understand the causes of erosion and the best management practices that will help to minimise soil losses”

The James Hutton Institute has partnered with Syngenta and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to develop and test a run-off tool app.

The tool will advise land managers on the best management practices to reduce run-off and trap sediment before it reaches water courses.  Land managers can acquire a run-off risk score by entering data on their soil type, top soil permeability, depth to compacted layer and agronomic practices. The tool operates on a single field rather than whole farm basis.

Run-off occurs when rainfall cannot infiltrate into the soil, often as a result of heavy precipitation, and runs over the surface of the land. This run-off can then pick up soil, plant nutrients, pesticides, debris, or other pollutants along the way and can have serious consequences for life in rivers and lochs. The transfer of such pollutants cannot be completely avoided from runoff/erosion, however they can be greatly reduced with appropriate management.

Another consequence of run-off is soil erosion. Although erosion can be a slow process that continues relatively unnoticed, during intense rainfall or prolonged rainfall, it can occur at an alarming rate, causing serious loss of topsoil.

The score a piece of land receives will determine the action which needs to be taken to reduce run-off. These may involve checking irrigation timings, breaking up the soil surface or farm traffic management options to avoid compaction. If a field receives a high run-off score additional data can be entered which will help refine the results further.

Allan Lilly, Soil Hydrologist, in the Institutes Environmental and Biochemical Sciences group said “I am delighted that we were able to use our knowledge of Scottish soils to help refine and test this important management tool. It vitally important for sustainable management of our soil resource and the aquatic ecosystem that we reduce the amount of soil lost due to run-off and erosion. This app gives land managers a tool to better understand the causes of erosion and the best management practices that will help to minimise soil losses”. 

Belinda Bailey, Syngenta environmental initiatives manager, added: “It is for all of us to manage what we are doing and demonstrate as an industry we are supporting a reduction in run-off”.

Notes to editors

More information about the work done by both Syngenta and SEPA can be found via their websites:

https://www.syngenta.co.uk/

https://www.sepa.org.uk/

More information from: 

Adam Walker, Communications Officer, James Hutton Institute, Tel: 01224 395095 (direct line), 0344 928 5428 (switchboard).


Printed from /news/partnership-develop-run-tool-app on 27/04/18 05:34:38 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.