Congratulations to my PhD student Will who successfully defended his thesis on phosphorus bio-geochemistry today! Well done Will!
Friday, 18 October 2013
On wheat-maize rotations and nutrient flows in Huantai County, Shandong Province, 14th-16th October 2013
A few key learning outcomes for me were:
•The nitrate levels in the groundwater seemed to be approximately 3x the UK standard
•The water flows in this region are almost all to groundwater, so there is a sense of ‘out of sight, out of mind’.
•There was little real regard or concern for water quality
•According to the Agricultural Bureau, the water quality monitoring is the ‘job for the provisional government’ and that the information is ‘classified’. The bureau did not seem to be aware of any county level programme for protecting water resources.
•Generally there seems to be a nitrogen centric view here, phosphorus was little mentioned although it is used with N and K (in a bagged fertilizer NPK 15-15-15)
My photos from the trip to Huantai can be viewed here.
Monday, 14 October 2013
•There are no data on flows to water and there seems to be a lack of emphasis on this
•The systems appear to be constrained and driven by agronomic production with only an emerging regard for losses to the environment
•It reminds me of my own work in the UK in the early 1990s, with systems driven by soil P tests and fertilizer levels, occasional concentration in water. The next step is that they need to learn to determine the nature of the losses to the water, including the hydrological flows and dynamics, not just the concentrations in water.
•A great ‘problem’ for these systems is the density of the population; therefore one cannot manage the water quality without a sense of the agriculture combined with the human inputs. There are governance and communication challenges here
•The work at Sandongqiao is promising and I see analogies with other studies in the past.
My photos from this trip can be viewed here.
Tuesday, 1 October 2013
I think we were deciding to move Haygarth to play wide on the left, with Allton as the lone striker.
Ed (thought bubble) ‘I wish he’d stop going on about soil erosion’
Any suggestions welcome.....
Recently working with my colleagues in the British Society of Soil Science, we hosted the annual conference based at Lancaster but had a field trip in the Eden Valley and on Hartside. The weather was terrific. Thanks to all the team for a great effort - here are the photos that I took on the day