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Water, Air & Soil Codes Defra Booklet

Improving Your Soil and the Environment.

A practical explanation of soil science, current legislation and the best ways to avoid wastage and environmental impact.

  • Environmental Awareness:
    Identifying areas of the farm which have the highest risk potential from organic manures/wastes and fertiliser usage.
    Understanding ‘biochemical oxygen demand’ (BOD) and its significance in environmental risk assessment.
    Understanding ‘eutrophication’ and its impact upon surface freshwater quality.
    Understanding Nitrate – where does it come from, how does it get into our water and what effect does it have on us and our environment.
  • Soil – The Basic Resource:
    What are the components of soil and how do they interact to form soils with different characteristics.
    The importance of soil structure and its significance in terms of root exploration, water retention and movement.
    The significance of soil texture and prevention of surface, particle run-off.
  • Maintaining a Healthy Soil:
    Understanding the significance of the biological activity in the soil.
    An appreciation of the nitrogen cycle and the mineralisation process.
    Understanding nutrient loss factors – ‘denitrification’, ‘leaching’ and ‘volatilisation’
  • Good Practice Defined:
    A comprehensive examination of the Codes of Good Agricultural Practice.
    Assessment of run-off potential for different organic manures/wastes under different circumstances and field conditions.
    Identifying areas of the farm where organic manures/wastes should not be spread at any time.
    Principles of storing organic manures/wastes and their application to land.
    Managing applications of organic manures/wastes to protect the environment and reduce nutrient wastage.
  • Understanding Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZ) Legislation:
    The EU Nitrate Directive.
    An examination of the constraints upon manufactured nitrogen fertiliser applications and their technical basis.
    Understanding the ‘Farm Based Limit’ and the ‘Field Based Limit’ for organic manures/wastes.
    Non-spreading areas - establishing the areas of the farm upon which no organic manures/wastes must be applied at any time.
    Understanding the closed periods – the significance of soil type and category of organic manure.
    Calculating the farms output of organic manure and establishing the available disposal area.
    Recording all the necessary information required by the Environment Agency.
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Dr Jim Lewis, DJL Agronomics , Highgrove House, Cassbrook Drive, Fulstow, Lincs LN11 0XR
Tel: 01507 363698 Email: [email protected]

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