SUSTAINABLE SOILS AND CROPS
We focus our research on improved understanding of the complexity of arable and grassland production systems and what it means for practical land management, food production and environmental goals.
The department has internationally-acknowledged expertise in the biology, chemistry and physics of soils and soil processes in arable and grassland systems. It has particular expertise in nutrient and pollutant cycling, the recycling of organic manures, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, soil-root interactions, soil and crop (including forage) modelling, soil erosion and nutrient loss, fine sediment dynamics and sediment-associated nutrient and contaminant fluxes at catchment and national scale. We have expertise in innovative crop breeding and in grazing systems, ruminant nutrition, and system economic evaluation with a growing capability in Life Cycle Assessment. We are signatories to the Concordat on Openness in Animal Research in the UK, more detail be found about our animal polices here.
UPPER RIVER TAW OBSERVATORY (URTO)
The Upper River Taw Observatory has been established in a landscape with mixed land use to support the integration of science, stakeholder engagement and policy support.
SOIL TO NUTRITION (S2N)
Advancing farming systems through an enhanced mechanistic understanding of nutrient use efficiency, productivity and resilience from soil to food product.
ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS (ASSIST)
Developing and testing innovative farming systems that increase food production & resilience to future perturbations, while reducing the environmental footprint of agriculture.
UK-CHINA VIRTUAL JOINT CENTRE FOR IMPROVED NITROGEN AGRONOMY CINAG
Increasing the adoption of sustainable nitrogen management practices in China and the UK through the development of novel indicators of nitrogen use efficiency.
DEMONSTRATION TEST CATCHMENTS: DTC 2 (LM0304)
Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of combinations of diffuse pollution mitigation measures at catchment scales
ROOTS OF DECLINE? ASSEMBLY AND FUNCTION OF THE RHIZOSPHERE MICROBIOME IN RELATION TO CROP YIELD
Investigating and understanding the contribution of root-associated microorganisms to the health of oilseed rape and to maintaining crop yields.
AGRONOMY AND NUTRIENT FLOWS
It is essential to optimise the way crops and grassland are managed to enhance yield and nutrient value of produce.
ATMOSPHERIC EMISSIONS AND MITIGATION
We are developing process understanding of N and C cycling to quantify and mitigate greenhouse gas and ammonia fluxes in agricultural systems
ENVIRONMENT AND SYSTEMS MODELLING
Combining expertise in integrating empirical and modelling approaches to characterise agricultural impacts on resource sustainability and scope for mitigating those impacts
GRAZING LIVESTOCK SYSTEMS
We are at a crucial time for livestock agriculture where we need to maximize production and minimize pollution, but great care must be taken when assessing systems due to the complexity of the algorithm required for sustainable intensification.
Our research focusses on evaluating the sustainability of modern agricultural practices and the trade-offs with the provision of environmental goods and services