Zoom into Soil: Soil Organic Matter

Jan 19, 2021 | News

Following the success of the Zoom into Soil webinars in 2020, the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) is delighted to announce the latest in the lunchtime series. Zoom into Soil: Soil Organic Matter, hosted by BSSS’ South East England Soil Discussion Group (SEESOIL), will take place on Wednesday 3 February from 12.00 to 1.00pm and is free of charge for all delegates.

‘Zoom into Soil: Soil Organic Matter’ will feature Dr Tom Sizmur, Associate Professor in Environmental Chemistry  at the University of Reading, and Julian Gold, Farm Manager at Hendred Estate, with their presentations, How does Organic Matter become Soil Organic Matter? and Building and Retaining Soil Organic Matter on Hendred Estate: Some Practical Issues and Thoughts.

In his presentation, Dr Tom Sizmur will explain how the organic matter that enters the soil becomes soil organic matter and how different fractions of that organic matter provide different functions and services. He will outline some principles and strategies for how organic amendments can be used that may increase the proportion that become soil organic matter and reduce the proportion that become carbon dioxide. Farm Manager Julian Gold will outline his strategies for building and retaining soil organic matter without the use of compost, farmyard manure or rotational leys. He will share successes and failures to date and thoughts on how his soil health strategy will continue to evolve.

Sarah Garry, Executive Officer of BSSS said, We are delighted to continue delivering the Zoom into Soil webinars into 2021. Our 2020 events proved incredibly popular with members and non-members alike and the sessions support our aims to share soil knowledge with anyone with an interest in soils.

To book a place at the seminar visit Go To Webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3870670569078892815

BSSS will host their next webinar on 3 March, with further monthly dates and registration details to be announced.




Media Contact

Sarah Garry
Executive Officer
British Society of Soil Science

Email: exec@soils.org.uk


Notes for Editors

  • The British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) is an established international membership organisation and charity committed to the study of soil in its widest aspects. The society brings together those working within academia, and practitioners implementing soil science in industry. Soil scientists’ research findings are essential for investigating the feasibility of agricultural, landscaping, construction, conservation and archaeological projects. Our members are employed by both private and public sector institutions including academic universities, conservation charities, construction companies and consultancies.
  • Participants can register for the February seminar via the Go To Webinar link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3870670569078892815
  • Dr Tom Sizmur is an Associate Professor in Environmental Chemistry whose research focuses on the biogeochemistry of soils. He leads a research group consisting of PhD students, postdocs and research technicians at the University of Reading, who all contribute to the wider vision he has to exploit organic matter and soil biological communities to provide ecosystem functions and services that benefit society. He is the Principal Investigator of the DIVERSE project, which aims to investigate the influence of residues incorporated after growing cover crop mixtures on C and N cycling. Tom’s interests particularly relate to the benefits that can be obtained from the incorporation of crop residues and other organic amendments into soils to recycle nutrients and feed soil organisms. While there is widespread acceptance that increasing soil organic matter is a laudable aim and that organic amendments are a tractable means to achieve this aim, the objective of his research is to identify or develop strategies whereby the maximum possible benefits are obtained by the judicious application of situation appropriate amendments.
  • Julian is a farmer’s son and graduated from Harper Adams College with a HND in Agriculture. After a short spell on the family farm, he has spent the last 33 years managing farms and estates; initially with farm management companies involving short periods on different farms and latterly a longer tenure on a privately owned estate. Julian is a FACTS and BASIS trained agronomist and has a commitment to continuing to improve cropping performance but in a sustainable manner. In 2012, he implemented a 10m controlled traffic system across the estate which has given a leap forwards in soil health management. He carries out regular field trials in house and for external organisations. He is presently in year 3 of the five year ASSIST trial which is a major government funded trial to investigate integrated management systems as a way of delivering sustainable intensification. He was one of the first tranche of AHDB to monitor farms from 2014-17 for the farmer to farmer knowledge exchange programme. Julian is on the SEESOIL committee and is keen to help improve flow of knowledge between Farmers and the Scientific community. He was awarded Soil Farmer of the Year in 2019.
  • Recordings of the previous Zoom into Soil events are available on the BSSS YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHHciYt47RFZLqcQ6QGkjxg.
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