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No-till Biome Experiment

Oxford University, Harper Adams University and Soulton cooperate in soil health experiment.

In the summer of 2016, we decided, with both of the above universities to establish an experiment to look at how conservation agriculture (the no-till farming recently adopted by Adam in BBC Radio 4's The Archers), when contrasted with traditional plough tillage, might drive changes in the microscopic life of the soil.  

The project has been covered on BBC Midlands here (as well as on BBC Farming Today here) and the package they filmed on it is embedded below, providing a useful context:

To look at this we will take DNA sequences of the soil biome and monitor other chemical and physical changes in the soil.  

As far as we know this is the first time anywhere that this has been done.

Time line

October saw the setting of the replicated plots..

 

Planting wheat today into the soil biome experiment @HarperAdamsUni @OxfordPlants

A photo posted by Soulton Hall (@soultonhall) on

Followed by the sowing of the crop...

 

Planting wheat today into the soil biome experiment @HarperAdamsUni @OxfordPlants

A photo posted by Soulton Hall (@soultonhall) on

Samples have been taken of the soil..

 

#soil samples on #dryice off to @oxford_uni for DNA sequencing #research #sustainability #farming #soilheath

A photo posted by Soulton Hall (@soultonhall) on

And the differing development of the plants themselves has been striking...

 

Conventional (left) vs #notil (right) #wheat farming #science #soilhelath

A photo posted by Soulton Hall (@soultonhall) on

 

#wheat #farming #notill

A photo posted by Soulton Hall (@soultonhall) on

No-till Biome Experiment

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