Zoom into Soil: Zero Tillage

Event date: 
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Event venue: 
Go To Webinar
Event description: 

Following the continued success of Zoom into Soil, the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) is pleased to host the third in its lunchtime webinar series.

‘Zoom into Soil: Zero Tillage’ will feature Hannah Cooper and Russell McKenzie who will discuss the current academic literature related to zero-tillage, the extent to which it reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to more common conventional tillage methods and how these methods compare in practice.

Zoom into Soil: Zero Tillage will take place on Wednesday 7 October from 12:00 – 1:00pm and is free of charge for all delegates.

In her presentation, Hannah Cooper will highlight how changes in the management of agricultural soils can affect their role as a source or sink in the global carbon cycle, and the scale and composition of their greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are complex and heterogeneous, but the active management offers possibilities for climate change mitigation. Zero-tillage (where the seed is sown directly into undisturbed soil) is an increasingly popular strategy to minimise soil erosion, increase biological activity and promote greater soil aggregate stability. However, the extent to which zero-tillage reduces greenhouse gas emissions and increases soil carbon storage, compared to the more common agricultural practice of conventional tillage, is extensively debated in the literature and represents a crucial knowledge gap in the context of climate change mitigation.

For Farm Manager Russell McKenzie, 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year for a whole variety of reasons: in particular huge swings in extreme weather during the growing season and a pattern of extremes which is more regular now than it used to be, with climate change the key driver. Russell will set out how even with last autumn’s difficult weather conditions, establishment of winter wheat was easier and better compared to those under tillage regimes on his farms.  He will reflect on how yields at harvest saw the performance of no-till autumn wheat crops outperform the cultivated crops and will highlight the value of investing efforts into better soil management, allowing soils to become more resilient to extreme weather conditions and far better able to support machinery and traffic water away under wetter conditions over time. 

The webinar will be followed in November by the release of a Cross Journal Virtual Issue with 20 previously published papers relating to no-till farming from the European Journal of Soil Science (EJSS) and Soil Use and Management (SUM), available free to access online for a limited period in November and December.


Please register in advance to book your place.


If you can’t make this event, or would like to catch up on previous events, please visit our YouTube channel where all Zoom into Soil events are free to stream.