Soil and Water 2023 – Farming with the challenges of Net Zero

At Harper Adams University and on-line on Wednesday 6th December 2023

The conference recordings are available here : 

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Click here to book:

Click here for speaker profiles

Conference programme (BASIS Professional and BASIS Environmental Advisors – 6 points each NRoSO – 5 points)

09.00 Registration opens – hot beverages available 

09.30 Introduction – Martin Hamer (chairman) – National Sales Manager, Fendt 

Session 1 – Carbon Policy and Practice

9.40 What are the Challenges to farming of getting to net zero – Dr Jonathan Scurlock, NFU

10.10 Carbon Calculators – How they can be used to improve farm profitability and progress towards net zero – Dr Emily Pope – Trinity Agtech 

10.40 Practices to reduce soil emissions: an Australian perspective on soil management – Dr Dio Antille CSIRO Canberra

11.10 Refreshment break

Session 2 – Improved resource use efficiency on farm – kindly sponsored by John Deere 

11.30 Using Protein mapping to improve NUE – Simon Beddows, farm manager and Will Downie, John Deere 

12.00 Promoting alternative weed control options and wider IWM through the Oper8 project – Kevin Godfrey and Lynn Tatnell, ADAS

Approaches to non-chemical weed control with FarmDroid – Chris Brettell of AgriDroid

12.40 Meeting the SFI Actions for soils standard; what is required and wider farm business benefits from knowing more about your soils – Tom Kirby, Agrii 

13.00 Lunch

13.30 Field visit for practical soil assessments – Please bring suitable footwear and outdoor clothing

Session 3 – Innovation towards Net Zero

14.30 Herbal leys – Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) trials and farmer’s experience in the White Peak, Ben Rodgers CSF and Robert Thornhill, Standhill Farm, Peak District.

15:00     Intercropping – Chris Judge PGRO

15.20 Case studies, challenges and future planning, Adam White, HO Agriculture, Barclays Bank

15.40 – Panel Discussion – Chaired by Andy Newbold -editor Tillage & Soils magazine  

16.00 Close                                                            

         Event supported by     

                Event kindly Sponsored by     

                    Session sponsors

Spring seminar series – Natural assets and the Green £

Kindly sponsored by Savills and Natural England

21st April 9.30-11.00 Jon Dearsley (Savills) – Cutting Through the Jargon; Phil Denham (Natural England) – Q&A Green Finance

Overview of Funding Schemes including Biodiversity Net Gain, Carbon Counting, Nutrient Neutrality

Jon Dearsley is a Director and joint head of Natural Capital at Savills. Jon has significant experience in practical land management, particularly environmental delivery on in hand and third-party land.

Phil Denham is a Principal Advisor with Natural England specialising in External Funding.

Registration page: April

24th May 9.30-11.00 Gregor Neeve (NE) – Nutrient Neutrality in the Landscape; Lucy Crockford (HAU) – Removing Nutrients with Constructed Wetlands Nutrient Neutrality with case studies, Constructed Wetlands for NN

Gregor Neeve is a Delivery Manager with Natural England specialising in Nutrient Mitigation.

Lucy Crockford is a Senior Lecturer in Soil and Water Management and works with the Constructed Wetlands Association serving on their Board.

Registration page: May

Soil 22 ConferenceBuilding farm resilience – bringing efficiency, nature and farm profitability into harmony

7th December 22 at Harper Adams University and online

The conference recordings are available here : Session 1, Session 2 and Session 3.

The Soil and Water Management Centres annual conference, is a timely opportunity to consider farm resilience in the context of efficency, profitability and nature.

This year’s conference tackles the consequences of climate change and how to successfully farm to mitigate these effects, be it extreme rainfall and shorter periods for harvest and crop establishment or prolonged periods of drought.

Speakers include the following:

  • Dr Philippa Mansfield (Natural England) will be presenting “Improving soil and farm resilience with the Sustainable Farming Incentive”
  • Dr Marie Kirby (Harper Adams University) will be speaking on the subject of the removal of contaminants from slurry and other wastewater using electrocoagulation, and she will lead a tour to show the installation of this technology at Harper Adams.
  • Ian Rudge (Agrii Sustainability Trials Manager and former Farm Manager, Bedfordia Farms) will share his experience of management of digestate and slurries in a reduced tillage environment.
  • Neil Furniss (local farmer) will be presenting his experiences of under-storey sowing of crops in maize.
  • Alison Karley (James Hutton Institute) will be speaking on “the practicalities and benefits of mixed species cropping”.


09.15 Registration opens – hot beverages available

09.50 Introduction – Guy Smith, Essex farmer and past Deputy President, NFU

10.00 Pathways to sustainable agriculture – Chloe MacLaren – Rothamsted Research

10.30 Improving Nutrient Use Efficiency, Andrew Riche – Rothamsted Research

11.00 Umbilical spreading of digestate, Ian Rudge – Agrii / ex. Bedfordia Farms

11.30 Refreshment break

11.50 Improving farm and soil resilience with the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI), Philippa Mansfield – Catchment Sensitive Farming, Natural England

12.20 Electrocoagulation, Marie Kirby – Harper Adams University 12.50 Lunch, videos, short tour of the Electrocoagulation plant, posters

14.10 Collaborative research with farmers to test the practicalities and benefits of mixed species cropping, Alison Karley – James Hutton Institute

14.40 Growing clover as a companion crop, Mark Lea, farmer case study – Green Acres Farm

15.00 Regen vs conventional – a systems study, Joe Collins, PhD student – Harper Adams

15.30 Under-storey sowing of crops, Neil Furniss, farmer case study – ME Furniss & Sons

15.50 Panel discussion

16.15 Close