ADAS Gleadthorpe

Meden Vale, United Kingdom

ADAS Gleadthorpe

Meden Vale, United Kingdom
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Bhogal A.,ADAS Gleadthorpe | Nicholson F.A.,ADAS Gleadthorpe | Young I.,University of New England of Australia | Sturrock C.,Waterford Institute of Technology | And 2 more authors.
European Journal of Soil Science | Year: 2011

Significant improvements in soil quality have been measured after repeated livestock manure additions at four experimental sites in England. The aim of this study was to determine whether these improvements were caused by the recent addition of fresh organic carbon (OC), or the long-term build-up of soil OC resulting from repeated additions. Livestock manures were withheld ('historic' treatment) from one half of each treatment plot and continued on the other half ('recent' treatment), and a range of soil properties measured 2 years later. Topsoil OC stocks and total nitrogen both increased by approximately 7%, with every 10 t ha-1 manure OC applied, with no difference between the recent or historic additions. Similarly, topsoil available water capacity and porosity increased by approximately 2 and 1% with every 10 t ha-1 OC applied, respectively. Bulk density and penetration resistance decreased, by approximately 1 and 3% with every 10 t ha-1 OC applied, respectively, with again no difference between the recent and historic treatments. Even microbial biomass N and potentially mineralizable N showed no differences between the recent and historic additions, increasing by 8 and 30% with every 10 t ha-1 OC applied, respectively. Only three of the wide range of soil properties measured showed a different response for the recent and historic additions. These were fungal biomass, which increased only with recent additions, extractable potassium, which was proportionally greater in the recent additions, and light-fraction OC, which increased at a greater rate with the recent additions. The results clearly demonstrate that improvements in soil quality and functioning after repeated additions of livestock manures can persist for more than 2 years after the cessation of applications. Overall, it was the total accumulated manure C inputs that had the greatest influence on soil properties, regardless of whether the source of C was from recent or historic (over 2 years old) applications. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Society of Soil Science.

Sossidou E.N.,Greek National Agricultural Research Foundation | Dal Bosco A.,University of Perugia | Elson H.A.,ADAS Gleadthorpe | Fontes C.M.G.A.,University of Lisbon
World's Poultry Science Journal | Year: 2011

The use of pasture-based systems for poultry production is growing due to consumer demand for specialty 'natural' and 'welfare-friendly' meat and eggs. This paper discusses the various meanings of the term 'pastured poultry' and defines the different pasture-based poultry production systems. Considerations of poultry welfare standards provided through the specific system are also discussed. Production topics such as poultry genetics, outdoor access and pasture management are presented together with potential problems. Finally, various aspects of sustainability are analysed to estimate the environmental, economical and social benefits promoted by the pasture-based poultry production systems. © 2011 World's Poultry Science Association.

Nicholson F.A.,ADAS Gleadthorpe | Humphries S.,ADAS Wolverhampton | Anthony S.G.,ADAS Wolverhampton | Smith S.R.,Imperial College London | And 2 more authors.
Soil Use and Management | Year: 2012

Agricultural Land and Organic 'Waste': A National Capacity Estimator (ALOWANCE) is a GIS-based tool that estimates the available agricultural landbank in England and Wales for recycling organic materials based on a number of physical and practical constraints, and legislative restrictions. It can be used to identify areas where there is a potential shortage or surplus of available agricultural land and to determine the length of time for which the agricultural landbank would continue to be available to receive organic materials. Two versions of ALOWANCE have been developed. ALOWANCE-PLUS is a PC-based tool that provides the full functionality of ALOWANCE to a small number of 'expert' users. It incorporates scenario testing capabilities, allowing the agricultural landbank capacity to be calculated interactively. ALOWANCE-ONLINE is a web-based version that provides information to 'general' users, including pre-selected map 'layers' (generated from ALOWANCE-PLUS) and a simple query tool. Results from ALOWANCE-PLUS showed that after exclusions and after accounting for current sources of organic materials (livestock manures, biosolids, compost, paper crumble and digestate), the estimated agricultural landbank in England and Wales for the addition of 'new' sources of organic materials was c. 5.1million ha. Spatial representations showed that in some parts of the country (e.g. north-west England), the agricultural landbank was already under 'pressure' and transport of any future emerging sources of organic materials away from these areas may be required. © 2012 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2012 British Society of Soil Science.

Worrall F.,Durham University | Bell M.J.,Durham University | Bhogal A.,ADAS Gleadthorpe
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2010

This study proposes a method for assessing the probability that land management interventions will lead to an improvement in the carbon sink represented by peat soils. The method is able to: combine studies of different carbon uptake and release pathways in order to assess changes on the overall carbon or greenhouse gas budget; calculate the probability of the management or restoration leading to an improvement in the budget; calculate the uncertainty in that probability estimate; estimate the equivalent number of complete budgets available from the combination of the literature; test the difference in the outcome of different land management interventions; and provide a method for updating the predicted probabilities as new studies become available. Using this methodology, this study considered the impact of: afforestation, managed burning, drainage, drain-blocking, grazing removal; and revegetation, on the carbon budget of peat soils in the UK. The study showed that afforestation, drain-blocking, revegetation, grazing removal and cessation of managed burning would bring a carbon benefit, whereas deforestation, managed burning and drainage would bring a disbenefit.The predicted probabilities of a benefit are often equivocal as each management type or restoration often leads to increase in uptake in one pathway while increasing losses in another. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Elson H.A.,ADAS Gleadthorpe
World's Poultry Science Journal | Year: 2015

The design and management of different housing systems affect poultry welfare. In order to compare wellbeing in different systems, two main indicators of poor welfare have been used in this paper: contact dermatitis for meat birds and mortality for laying hens. The former is important since broilers may suffer from it for much of the later part of their short lives; the latter because it is generally preceded by suffering due to morbidity. Other welfare indicators are also important, of course, and some of them have been considered alongside these two. Indoor systems, especially laying cages, provide the safest welfare protection but extensive systems, e.g. free-range, provide more freedom and allow the widest behavioural repertoire. However, free-range systems are generally the most difficult to manage and pose the greatest welfare risks, which can sometimes be serious - even causing death. A possible superior safer approach is suggested. © World's Poultry Science Association 2015.

Zhang Y.,Rothamsted Research | Collins A.L.,Rothamsted Research | Hodgkinson R.,ADAS Gleadthorpe
Soil Use and Management | Year: 2016

Both experimental and monitoring studies have underscored the importance of the agricultural subsurface drain delivery pathway for sediment and phosphorus in England and Wales. Modelling studies to date using the Phosphorus and Sediment Yield CHaracterisation In Catchments (PSYCHIC) model have included a default drain connectivity coefficient of 0.9. Recent telephone and field-based surveys in three Demonstration Test Catchments of farmer attitudes towards field drains and their maintenance have provided new data on the presence of permeable backfill, the frequency of subsoiling, mole draining and maintenance of the freeboard at drain outfalls. These survey returns have therefore been used to revise the default drain connectivity coefficient in PSYCHIC. Revised subsurface drain connectivity at the Water Management Catchment scale ranges from 0.52 to 0.89 with a median of 0.75. Relative to modelled baseline (2010) data using the default drain connectivity of 0.9, the revised estimates of connectivity resulted in a reduction in the prediction of relative contributions from the subsurface drain pathway at national scale of 8.1% for sediment and 6.8% for total phosphorus. Journal compilation © 2016 British Society of Soil Science.

Newell-Price J.P.,ADAS Gleadthorpe | Whittingham M.J.,Northumbria University | Chambers B.J.,ADAS Gleadthorpe | Peel S.,Natural England
Soil and Tillage Research | Year: 2013

Visual soil evaluation methods can provide a quick and easy, semi-quantitative approach to assessing the overall soil structural condition of a block of soil in three dimensions. To express this amount of information through other measures of soil physical condition (e.g. penetration resistance, bulk density or shear strength) requires a number of measurements at various depths and can be costly and time consuming. There is therefore a need to develop simple field methods to assess and monitor soil quality. In a survey of grassland soil compaction in England and Wales, soil visual evaluation methods were used alongside more widely accepted physical measurements of soil compaction (e.g. bulk density - BD and penetration resistance). Soil structural condition was investigated in 300 fields located on 150 farms, with one 'mainly grazed' field and one 'mainly cut' field selected on each farm. The visual soil evaluation methods were the visual soil assessment (VSA) method from New Zealand and the Peerlkamp (soil structure - 'St') method. Based on the Landcare VSA ranking score, 8% of the grassland fields were in poor condition (95% confidence interval=±3), 54% (±6) in moderate condition and 38% (±6) were in good condition. Based on the Peerlkamp 'St' score, 12% (±4) of fields were in poor condition ('St' score<4.0), 63% (±6) in moderate condition ('St' score 4.0-7.0) and 25% (±5) in good condition ('St' score>7.0). Notably, the soil visual evaluations using the VSA ranking score and 'St' score were well related (P<0.001; r2=66%). At 30 field sites selected for more detailed investigation, there was an inverse relationship between 'St' scores and mid topsoil BD (P<0.01; r2=25%), indicating that the measurement of BD in the middle of the topsoil provided an indication of soil structural condition, as determined by visual soil evaluation. Also, for the 300 grassland fields, there was a positive relationship (P<0.001) between maximum penetration resistance (MPR) in the top 200mm and both the 'St' score (r2=26%) and VSA score (r2=19%). The visual evaluation scores increased with increasing penetration resistance, indicating that better soil structure (as assessed visually) was associated with greater penetration resistance. This was contrary to the expectation that soils with better structure would be less dense than poorly structured soils and therefore would have lower penetration resistance values. The use of multiple predictor models showed that the two most important factors (P= 0.02) influencing the VSA ranking score were (in order of importance): (i) soil organic matter content (positive relationship); (ii) soil sand content (positive relationship). © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Powlson D.S.,Rothamsted Research | Bhogal A.,ADAS Gleadthorpe | Chambers B.J.,ADAS Gleadthorpe | Coleman K.,Rothamsted Research | And 3 more authors.
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2012

Results from the UK were reviewed to quantify the impact on climate change mitigation of soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks as a result of (1) a change from conventional to less intensive tillage and (2) addition of organic materials including farm manures, digested biosolids, cereal straw, green manure and paper crumble. The average annual increase in SOC deriving from reduced tillage was 310kg C±180kgCha -1yr -1. Even this accumulation of C is unlikely to be achieved in the UK and northwest Europe because farmers practice rotational tillage. N 2O emissions may increase under reduced tillage, counteracting increases in SOC. Addition of biosolids increased SOC (inkgCha -1yr -1t -1 dry solids added) by on average 60±20 (farm manures), 180±24 (digested biosolids), 50±15 (cereal straw), 60±10 (green compost) and an estimated 60 (paper crumble). SOC accumulation declines in long-term experiments (>50 yr) with farm manure applications as a new equilibrium is approached. Biosolids are typically already applied to soil, so increases in SOC cannot be regarded as mitigation. Large increases in SOC were deduced for paper crumble (>6tCha -1yr -1) but outweighed by N 2O emissions deriving from additional fertiliser. Compost offers genuine potential for mitigation because application replaces disposal to landfill; it also decreases N 2O emission. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Elson H.A.,ADAS Gleadthorpe
British Poultry Science | Year: 2010

1. In order to conduct this anniversary review, 10 excellent papers were carefully selected from the 148 available papers published on housing and husbandry in British Poultry Science (BPS) over the past 50 years. 2. The 10 selected papers on this subject covered mainly the housing and husbandry of laying hens, but two of them dealt with various aspects of broiler production. 3. Aspects of housing considered included a wide range of intensive and extensive systems of broiler and egg production. Specific topics included the effects of husbandry system on bird welfare, including skeletal damage in laying hens and contact dermatitis in broiler chickens, as well as the design and management of nest boxes, perches, feeders and drinkers, conventional laying cages (CCs), furnished laying cages (FCs) and non-cage systems (NCs). 4. A variety of the findings in these and related papers have enlightened our understanding of many aspects of poultry housing and husbandry; most of them have found application in the poultry industry and thus improved its efficiency. © 2010 British Poultry Science Ltd.

McGrath S.P.,Rothamsted Research | Chambers B.J.,ADAS Gleadthorpe | Taylor M.J.,ADAS Gleadthorpe | Carlton-Smith C.H.,WRc plc
Plant and Soil | Year: 2012

Background and aims: Increasing the concentrations of the essential micronutrient Zn in staple crops like grain is desirable for human nutrition. We investigated the long-term ability of municipal treatment works sewage sludge, liquid sewage sludge and ZnCO3 applied to soils to increase Zn in in wheat grain (Triticum aestivum L.) in a number of field experiments conducted on different soils. Methods: We used six long-term field experiments that were set up on contrasting soils in England and the target applications were built up between 1994 and 1997. Topsoil samples and harvested grain samples were taken and air dried in 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005. Relationships between grain Zn concentrations and soil properties and changes with time were examined. Results: Wheat grain Zn concentrations increased with soil Zn concentrations in a similar log-log relationship with all of the Zn sources tested. Comparing total or extractable Zn in soil as explanatory factors showed little benefit of using extractable Zn measurements to predict grain concentrations over total Zn. Additional factors such as soil pH or organic carbon did not explain much more of the variation in grain Zn in our experiments. However, grain Zn concentrations did not respond at all at a site with pH 7. 7. Conclusions: Sewage sludge applications to soil can increase grain Zn concentrations for at least 2 to 8 years after application and has similar effectiveness to ZnCO3. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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