S2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 3 (WP3) - Sustainable intensification - optimisation at multiple scales

Lead Research Organisation: Rothamsted Research
Department Name: Unlisted

Abstract

Sustainable intensification (SI) has emerged as a conceptualisation of the fundamental challenges facing the agricultural industry. Some of the science community are responding with programmes on agro-ecology, 'ecological intensification' and the delivery of public goods (the focus of the ASSIST programme). However, this approach on its own down-weighs the equally important additional pillars that must underpin true SI (production, environmental and social). The critical challenge that the S2N strategic programme, including this project, addresses is the mismatch in spatial and temporal scales in relevant components of SI: 1) mechanisms that regulate soil-plant-microbe interactions; 2) trade-offs between productivity, resilience and nutrient use efficiency; and 3) the scales of measurement used to inform land management for food production by farmers on one hand and the development and implementation of environmental/agricultural policy on the other. Experimental measurements are usually made at core/ quadrat spatial scales (cm2 to m2) and over short timescales; land managers operate at the field to farm/ estate scale (ha to km2) over seasonal or annual timeframes; policy makers and deliverers are interested in catchment, regional or national scales over years to decades, often in relation to legally-binding national/ international policies and legislation e.g. the EU Water Framework Directive. Exploration of the interactions between land management decisions and policy drivers inherently involves the merger of improved mechanistic understanding of efficiency of nutrient utilization (ENU) at the soil-plant level (WP1 0I310) and adaptive management on the farm (WP2 I0320) with mathematical upscaling methodologies which are dealt with in this project (WP 3 I0330). The principal aim of this WP is therefore to understand what mechanistic understanding links farm management to the effective functioning of environmental and food systems to deliver SI.

Publications

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Balmford A (2018) The environmental costs and benefits of high-yield farming in Nature Sustainability

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Blöschl G (2019) Twenty-three unsolved problems in hydrology (UPH) - a community perspective in Hydrological Sciences Journal

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Comber A (2018) Geographically weighted elastic net logistic regression in Journal of Geographical Systems

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Comber A (2018) Distance metric choice can both reduce and induce collinearity in geographically weighted regression in Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science

 
Title Press item: https://farming.co.uk/news/The-advent-of-green-cattle 
Description Press item: https://farming.co.uk/news/The-advent-of-green-cattle 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact National readership 
 
Title Press item: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-37941196 
Description Press item: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-37941196 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact National news item 
 
Description The collation of empirical and modelled data across scales as part of the work for this award is suggesting process scaling and dominance switches across scales. This clearly has important implications for the targeting of on-farm interventions for sustainable intensification and for addressing the spatial and temporal mismatches between on-farm management and the delivery of environmental objectives (e.g. for water quality) at larger (i.e. landscape) scales. Farm advisors at present do not have at their disposal information on fundamental processes relevant to the targeting of on-farm interventions for sustainable intensification and this is resulting in incorrectly targeted management decisions. This problem has been discussed with Defra policy teams who recognise the critical role that Soil to Nutrition can lay in filling the gap as results continue to come on line.
Exploitation Route The findings if they continue to develop in the current direction will provide the basis for helping to revise and improve advice delivered into the agricultural sector about on-farm options for delivering sustainable intensification. To date, the findings have been used by a water utility (Wessex Water) to help revise their landscape scale management plans for dealing with externalities of farming on water quality and specifically phosphorus related issues. The findings to date have also been used by the Environment Agency as input to landscape management plans and by FWAG SW to tailor their advice to farmers. Our work on tradeoffs for agriculture has been used LEAF.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice

 
Description The following summarises progress in relation to the Pathways to Impact document for Soil to Nutrition: Agriculture and food industry - KE workshops for farmers and industry stakeholders held annually (facilitated through WP3), to include demonstrations of interventions by farmers involved in the network of commercial farms in the test landscapes - this has been delivered though link up with the Demonstration Test Catchments and the collaborative project on the river Cale catchment with FWAG SW for the Environment Agency. In both cases, farmer focus groups have been used to discuss experiences of, and costs associated with, different on-farm interventions for delivering the SI of agriculture and to gain feedback from farmers on their attitudes towards future uptake of interventions. Critically, the discussions have focussed on on-farm interventions selected on the basis of mechanistic (e.g. hydrological) understanding. - Direct engagement with farmers and industry representative bodies will ensure that programme outputs are incorporated within relevant sector guidance documents and roadmaps - the emerging evidence on the scaling of key (e.g. hydrological) processes has important implications for improving on-farm advice for SI. This emerging evidence and the messages associated with it are now being picked up by a range of organisations associated with agri-industry, including water companies (e.g. Wessex Water), AHDB, Soil Association, Environment Agency, Natural England, CaBA (Catchment-based approach) partnerships and Defra policy teams. The vision is for fully strategic roll out of this new evidence as further progress is made on Soil to Nutrition. - Establishment of the network of commercial farms in test landscapes - farmer focus groups exist in conjunction with the test landscapes from the Demonstration Test Catchment programme and as part of the new River Taw observatory (Taw facilitation fund group). Additionally, we are interacting with commercial farmers in the Landscape Pioneer being administered by Natural England for testing a new ELM from April 2019 and with farmers as part of the North Wyke advisory group. - We will act as a Sustainable Intensification (SI) hub (WP3.3) for other ISPGs, especially ASSIST  and Smart Crop Protection ISPGs, but also more widely in the SI community - SIRN (sirn.org.uk) hosted a horizon scanning event in January 2019 to brainstorm possible threats to sustainable agriculture that NERC and BBSRC might want to consider pressing UKRI to fund. To this end, some 20 scientists attended a 2 day workshop in London. Academic attendees represented as many disciplines within sustainable agriculture and as many separate institutions as we could mange within the 20-person constraint. Besides S2N, there were representatives of ASSIST and Designing future wheat among the attendees. Some 70 threats and opportunities were suggested but time was pressing and 3 were developed into fully-specified suggestions for research programmes that UKRI might fund. A report for NERC and BBSRC is being prepared. - S2N advisory group has been established consisting of leading UK farmers, groups (e.g. Farmcare) and support organisations - this group has been established and the Soil to Nutrition Programme presents regular updates on outputs to them, with the meeting alternating between the Rothamsted Research Harpenden and North Wyke sites. - Engagement activities with commercial companies, including those involved in cereal and grass breeding, livestock genetics, soil and cereal sensors for precision nutrient management and agricultural service - one primary engagement has been with RegenFarm Ltd. to develop a new software tool for assessing the opportunity for regenerative farming practices at farm to landscape scales. Additional engagement examples include those with the Stabiliser Company as well as with Sainsburys. Policy - At the international level, scientific outputs and policy implications will be presented at meetings of bodies including the international Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the UNECE Task Force for Reactive Nitrogen, the European Panel for Nitrogen Budgets, the International Nitrogen Initiative Conference the International Nitrogen Management System as well as international phosphorus meetings (e.g. International Association of Hydrological Sciences ) - work on methodological developments has been presented at the PSP6 meeting for phosphorus in Leuven, Belgium. An oral and poster have been submitted and accepted for the Land Use and Water Quality (LuWQ 2019) international conference in Aarhus, Denmark scheduled for June 2019 and several orals have been submitted and accepted for the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics meeting in Montreal, Canada in July 2019. Next generation of practitioners - students and training S2N and uplift projects will enable the training of a new cohort of PhD students and postdoctoral scientists in the areas of soil science, nutrient cycling, agronomy, livestock science and farm systems modelling, particularly through the RCUK Doctoral Training Partnerships in which RRes is a partner - Soil to Nutrition and uplift projects are enabling the training of PhD students in the various aspects of agri-science listed here. The studentships come from DTPs and international funding streams (e.g. Teagasc Walsh Fellowships). Consumers and wider society - We will communicate our research findings through targeted S2N events and output as part of the RRes' public lecture series, open days with the public, RRes newsletters and brochures that disseminate the implications of our research for food security in an understandable way  - Soil to nutrition findings are communicated to multiple stakeholders using a regular newsletter. The central theme of delivering multiple goods and services in the context of demand for food was presented to the general public at the Rothamsted Research Festival of Ideas open days in June 2018 (attended by ~9000 people).
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Environment
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Citation in UKRI Infrastructure Roadmap Initial analysis of infrastructure questionnaire responses and description of the landscape 2019
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in systematic reviews
 
Description Citation in the UKRI Infrastructure Roadmap Progress Report 2019
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in systematic reviews
 
Description Defra Expert Working Group on Small Waterbodies
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description National expert reviewer for new Evironment Land Management (ELM) schemes
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description contribution to the new farming rules for water (Pillar I)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description revised on the ground advice to farmers - the river Cale catchment
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description ERDF Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab
Amount £36,736 (GHS)
Organisation European Commission 
Department European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 10/2018 
End 01/2025
 
Description Environment Agency - delivery of the Water Framework Directive
Amount £40,000 (GBP)
Organisation Environment Agency 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2017 
End 03/2019
 
Description Environment Agency Ecological Services Framework
Amount £24,805 (GBP)
Organisation Environment Agency 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2017 
End 08/2018
 
Description International Fellowship Scheme
Amount £12,000 (GBP)
Organisation Chinese Academy of Sciences 
Sector Public
Country China
Start 01/2018 
End 12/2019
 
Description Ireland EPA DIFFUSE project
Amount € 100,000 (EUR)
Organisation Government of Ireland 
Department Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Sector Public
Country Ireland
Start 08/2017 
 
Description Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology CORe funding stream
Amount € 585,000 (EUR)
Organisation Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology 
Sector Academic/University
Country Luxembourg
Start 09/2018 
End 08/2021
 
Description Teagasc Walsh Fellowship
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Organisation Teagasc 
Start 10/2017 
End 06/2021
 
Title Empirical models to derive Crop Productivity Indicators from SAR Cross-polarization ratio (SAR-CR) 
Description Based on Innovate-UK and a joint RRES Cranfield University PhD-studentship (N Vavlas) funded by the Soil AgRIA, we developed R and Python scripts to extract field and farm-specific time series of Earth Observation data (SAR-CR). These times series were validated against ground truth (crop phenology and growth) and parameters of the smoothed dynamic SAR-CR curves are being derived using graphical and algebraic methods, as well as two logistic or double logistic curves. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This capability will eventually allow experts to monitor variation across farm(s) and over time after management changes. 
 
Title Farm Platform Data Portal 
Description The Farm Platform Data Portal contains core data for the Farm Platform and facilitates access to the data to both Rothamsted Research staff and the wider research community. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This database allows open access to researchers to utilise the core data generated from the Farm Platform National Capability. The database was first released in 2016 and currently there are ~120 registered users of the data portal 
URL https://nwfp.rothamsted.ac.uk/
 
Title GWmodel R package 
Description GWmodel R package is a collection spatial statistical tools for exploring spatial heterogeneity. Continually developed since its release in 2013. 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact "GWmodel" produced 66,200 Google hits. 
URL https://www.jstatsoft.org/article/view/v063i17
 
Title SEPARATE (Sector Pollutant Apportionment for the Aquatic Environment) V. 2 
Description SEPARATE provides landscape scale apportionment of the agricultural and non-agricultural contributions of sediment and nutrients (N and P) delivered to waterbodies at national scale in England and Wales. Work as part of Soil to nutrition has updated the data layers to produce version 2. The key updates include updating estimates of agricultural externalities and non-agricultural externalities from point source discharges and eroding river channel banks. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Capacity to estimate one critical component of the spatial mismatch problem for sustainable intensification of farming as you scale from farm scale to landscape scale. This provides a basis for more reliable predictions of the potential impacts of new intervention scenarios across the scales. 
 
Title The "Innovate PostGIS" database 
Description In this database we manage non-spatial and spatial data, to integrate time series of field and farm-specific land management data with Earth Observation (EO) and other spatial data (e.g. soil, topography, ). A Database Management System (DBMS) was built using the PostgreSQL extension PostGIS. In addition to the usual ability to manage non-geospatial data using PostgreSQL, the PostGIS extension allows geospatial data to be stored in an efficient database which can be queried using spatial quer 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The PostGIS database has made a big impact on the evaluation of large data sets and the use within academic-industrial collaboration. An external (farm/client-specific) access has not been discussed yet, but will be possible with model development work. Deployment of evaluation results via AgriMetrics was discussed in a stand-alone LINK proposal. 
 
Title Translation and expansion of the Rothamsted Grass Models for Knowledge Exchange 
Description The Rothamsted Grass Model "BEGraS" (Bioenergy Grass Species) is based on LINGRA, a Dutch open source dynamic growth model which has been modified to simulate growth of grasses within a soil-plant-atmosphere modelling framework. The objective of BEGraS was to account for different phenotypes and their sensitivity to changing productivity in different environments. In conjunction with the development of the new SARIC-Grass Model Systems, codes and displays are implemented into Excel Spreadsheets to allow End Users to explore productivity in dependence of management and environment changes. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This interactive tool will reduce "model inhibition" and allow practitioners to explore management options for grass. Different versions of the tool will be made available to scientists, students, industry experts and farmers. 
 
Description Co-working with the Landscape Pioneer, North Devon Biosphere 
Organisation Natural England
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Professor Adie Collins has been providing expert review of evolving plans for the new Environment Land Management (ELM) scheme to be piloted the Landscape Pioneer from April 2019. He has attended meetings in Exeter and on conference calls as part of this collaboration. He is currently providing advice on the scope for farm typologies to inform the monitoring of the new ELM.
Collaborator Contribution Natural England have overall responsibility for co-designing the new ELM for trial in the Landscape Pioneer, working with multiple partners to ensure a focus on public good.
Impact The key output to date is a draft description of the interventions likely to be tested in the new ELM.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Contribution to the Dorset Catchments Monitoring Group 
Organisation Wessex Water
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Professor Adie Collins now contributes to the Dorset Catchments Monitoring Group, which is part of the Dorset Catchment Partnerships Initiative under the Cathment-based Approach (CaBA). Here, he has presented S2N work (e.g. in the river Cale catchment) to show the significance of taking better account of mechanistic understanding and scaling in managing the externalities arising from modern farming.
Collaborator Contribution Wessex Water organise and minute these meetings.
Impact Transfer of Soil to Nutrition understanding into management discussions for catchments in Dorset.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Mechanistic understanding for managing the externalities of modern farming on water quality 
Organisation Wessex Water
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We used the mechanistic understanding within the modelling framework for soil to Nutrition to apportion the key pathways for the transfer of pollutants from agricultural land to freshwater in a list of priority landscapes provided to us by Wessex Water.
Collaborator Contribution Wessex Water provided Rothamsted Research with a list of priority waterbodies for which they wanted new mechanistic data on water pollutant transfer pathways at landscape scale.
Impact Wessex Water have built our mechanistic data on key water pollutant transfer pathways for priority catchments into their new management plans.
Start Year 2017
 
Description River Beane sediment study 
Organisation Environment Agency
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We devised a study to assess the implications of the spatial mismatch between on-farm interventions for sustainable intensification and the likelihood of addressing environmental issues at landscape scale. In the case of the river Beane study catchment, soil loss and sediment problems in the river channel were identified as the primary environmental issue at landscape scale. We therefore applied a sediment source fingerprinting approach based on fallout and geogenic radionuclides to assess the contribution of agriculture to the landscape sediment problem. The source apportionment estimates from the sediment fingerprinting work were integrated with the farm to landscape modelling results for pathways to sustainable intensification.
Collaborator Contribution Provision of background data and information for the River Beane study catchment, Hertfordshire, UK. Collection of in-river sediment samples (monthly) for use in the spatial mismatch work based on application of the sediment fingerprinting approach.
Impact The outputs of the work are now being used by the local Environment Agency teams to adapt their river basin management plans. The source apportionment work critically shows the down-scaling of on-farm management in the context of the non-agricultural sediment source contributions in this test landscape.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Techniques for processing datasets for assessing spatial mismatches across scales for managing soil erosion and sediment problems 
Organisation University of Reggio Calabria
PI Contribution We have trained the ERASMUs students in data processing and modelling of the soil and sediment tracer datasets.
Collaborator Contribution The Italian partner collected the soil and sediment samples from a study landscape processed the samples to obtain tracer data. In addition, 1 ERASMUS student was sent to Rothamsted Research in the spring of 2018 and 2 further ERASMUS students in the spring of 2019 to receive training on data processing and modelling.
Impact The ERASMUs placement students have been trained in processing soil and sediment tracing data. An assessment of the spatial mismatch has been assembled for the Trionto study catchment in Italy.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Testing a fingerprinting procedure for assessing the spatial mismatch problem for sustinable intensification 
Organisation Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Department Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Country Germany 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Professor Adie Collins' research team linked up with the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) to process soil and sediment geochemistry and radionuclide data measured on samples collected from a catchment in Burkina Faso. This provided an opportunity to test the source fingerprinting procedure being applied in the main study areas for Soil to Nutrition in a different environmental setting more akin to those areas included in GCRF funding calls. The soil and sediment data were processed using a framework combining statistical tests and numerical mass balance modelling including Monte Carlo uncertainty analysis.
Collaborator Contribution The partner was responsible for collecting and analysing the soil and sediment samples for geochemistry and radionuclides.
Impact Publication summarising the work: Rode, M., op de Hipt, F., Collins, A.L., Zhang, Y., Theuring, P., Schkade, U-K., Diekkruger, B. (2018). Subsurface sources contribute substantially to fine-grained suspended sediment transported in a tropical West African watershed in Burkina Faso. Land Degradation and Development 29, 4092-4105. The results will now be used to inform, landscape management in the study area in Burkina Faso.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Testing a source fingerprinting procedure for assessing the spatial mismatch problem for sustainable intensification at landscape scale 
Organisation University of Tehran
Department Faculty of Geography
Country Iran, Islamic Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We applied the statistical and numerical modelling framework for sediment source tracing being refined and applied in soil to Nutrition to data provided for study areas in Iran.
Collaborator Contribution The Iranian partner collected the soil and sediment samples from the test landscapes in Iran and analysed those samples. The data were sent to Rothamsted Research for processing using our statistical and modelling framework for this specific procedure for examining spatial mismatch issues at landscape scale.
Impact The results of the source fingerprinting studies in mountainous catchments near Tehran are being used to inform landscape management plans.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Testing the source tracing framework being applied in Soil to Nutrition in a Brazilian case study 
Organisation Federal University of Piaui (UFPI)
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Through a collaborative partnership we are training a PhD student (Fabio Amorim) in all aspects of our source tracing framework for assessing spatial mismatches between on-farm management and the scope for meeting landscape scale environmental objectives. This training is covering soil and sediment sampling on the North Wyke Farm Platform and in the new upper river Taw observatory installed as part of Soil to Nutrition, laboratory analyses for tracers (bulk stable isotopes, colour, MIR, n-alkanes), statistical processing of the data and numerical modelling with uncertainty analyses (Monte Carlo).
Collaborator Contribution The Brazilian partner has been responsible for collecting samples for sending any associated data.
Impact The analyses are still ongoing.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Walsh Fellowship PhD studentship 
Organisation Teagasc
Department Teagasc Food Research Centre
Country Ireland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Professor Adie Collins won a Walsh Fellowship PhD studentship funded by Teagasc. The PhD is co-supervised by Teagasc, Rothamsted Research and the University of Ulster (the awarding university). Professor Adie Collins is co-supervising the student (Amber Manley) and thereby contributing to all aspects of the studentship. To date, the student has focussed on completing her MRes at Ulster university (passing with Distinction) and on completing her first research paper for submission to am international journal reporting the results of a benchtop experiment testing the conservativeness of sterol biomarkers for confirming incidental losses of cattle slurry from agricultural land.
Collaborator Contribution Teagasc and the University of Ulster are co-supervising the studentship and also providing facilities for the work in future years (years 3 and 4).
Impact The first scientific paper has been completed and is nearing completion for submission to an international journal. The student has presented an outline of her thesis plan to Teagasc, Ireland.
Start Year 2017
 
Description • Collaboration with Soil Association (Liz Bowles) to discuss scenarios for Soil to nutrition 
Organisation The Soil Association
Country Unknown 
Sector Learned Society 
PI Contribution We discussed comparison of grass leys versus biomass cropping in intensive arable systems and eventually opted to use the Soil to nutrition modelling framework to model the technically feasible impacts of increased uptake of grass leys in intensive arable systems in the east of England. The results are to be compared versus business-as-usual.
Collaborator Contribution The Soil Association contributed to the discussion of scenarios and helped us finalise the framing of those prior to model runs.
Impact The Soil to Nutrition modelling framework has been used to model scenarios of increased uptake of leys and sheep in the intensive cereal systems of eastern England. The outputs compare business-as-usual and the new scenarios in terms of services or dis-services; emissions to water and air, farm economics, production, soil quality, biodiversity, water use.
Start Year 2018
 
Title GWmodel R package 
Description A suite of spatial statistical modelling tools See https://www.jstatsoft.org/article/view/v063i17 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2019 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact 66200 Google hits 
URL https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=GWmodel
 
Title SIFT - Sediment Fingerprinting Tool 
Description The SIFT software using R shiny app provides a one stop shop software tool for processing tracer (e.g. mineral-magnetic, radiometric, geochemical, biomarker) datasets for understanding the key landscape sources of sediment and associated nutrients (e.g. P) and contaminants (e.g. heavy metals). This source apportionment software tool thereby provides a basis for exploring process scaling as a key means of supporting the targeting of on-farm interventions for delivering sustainable intensification of agriculture. The tool combines data visualisation, QA, statistical analysis and numerical modelling with uncertainty routines. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2018 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact SIFT has been distributed to a number of end users to ensure uptake and to assemble feedback for future updates/versions. Currently, the tool is being tested/used by academics (e.g. University of Northampton, UK; University of Waterloo, Canada) and international organisations (e.g. US Geological Survey research teams). 
 
Title SIFT: SedIment Fingerprinting Tool 
Description A comprehensive software tool with a user-friendly GUI to walk any researcher or catchment manager through every step of a sediment source fingerprinting data analysis procedure. The tool is programmed using R and uses Shiny by RStudio for the user interface. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2018 
 
Company Name REGENFARM LIMITED 
Description RegenFARM is a SaaS IoT Platform farm design tool based on proven regenerative agriculture methods using: Big data from agritech, industry and other sources. Algorithms integrating and analyzing data designing 'key-line' farms. High performance computing to simulate digital twin farm design in real-time. IoT platform hosting the design tool and accelerating scope and scale. 
Year Established 2015 
Impact Soil to Nutrition and the ERDF funded Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab co-worked with Exeter University, the Met Office and RefenFarm Ltd. to develop a new demonstrator tool for advisors for help discussions with farmers and uptake of regenerative agricultural practices (e.g. minimum tillage, keyline compaction management, technograzing) on farms (e.g. cereal, dairy) in the UK.
Website https://regenfarm.com/
 
Description American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting - New Orleans, December 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Prof Adrian Collins presented an oral at the AGU Fall Meeting entitled 'Connectivity in agricultural landscapes - do we need more than a DEM?'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting - New Orleans, December 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Prof Adrian Collins co-convened a session and workshop at AGU Fall Meeting - 'Emerging Technologies and Advances in Identifying Catchment Sediment Sources'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Association of Applied Biologists conference on Sustainable Intensification, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, November 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Prof Adrian Collins ALC presented an oral at the AAB conference on SI (Nov 2017) entitled 'The scale problem in tackling the sustainability of agriculture with respect to water quality: insight from the Avon Demonstration Test Catchment'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description BSRC/NERC SARIC 3rd dissemination event (Oxford, November 2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Prof Adrian Collins presented talk entitled 'Impacts of different vegetation in riparian buffer strips on hydrology and water quality'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description CropTec Show - Peterborough, November 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Goetz Richter & other Rothamsted colleagues attended the 'CropTec Show' in Peterborough (November 2017). Provided opportunities for networking on Remote Sensing and GIS.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description DTC national conference, Exeter University (September 2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Prof Adrian Collins convened the conference and also presented on 'Simulating the efficacy of different on-farm mitigation scenarios' (Avon DTC).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Delivery of mechanistic understanding to Wessex Water 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Delivery of information on fundamental mechanistic process apportionment for the delivery pathways of agricultural externalities (e.g. excess nutrient loss) on aquatic receptors in priority catchments identified by the water utility. The new science is being used to inform the new management plans being submitted by Wessex Water.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
 
Description Discussion on delivering sustainable intensification at landscape scale 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Rothamsted researchers working on Soil to Nutrition WP3 engaged with Nestle and discussed how our new science and findings can be incorporated into the LENS (Landscape Enterprise Networks) approach being used by Nestle in conjunction with its agricultural supply chains (e.g. dairy) to enable landscape management plans in England. The discussions covered existing LENS case studies using dairy supply chain plus plans for doing something similar but working with cereal supply chain in eastern England.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Dorset Catchments Monitoring Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The mechanistic understanding and scaling being generated by Soil to Nutrition WP3 was presented and discussed at a meeting of the Dorset Catchment Monitoring Group, which is part of the Dorset Catchment Partnerships Group under the Catchment-based Approach (CaBA). The discussions focussed on how new mechanistic understanding can better inform landscape scale management of the externalities arising from modern farming.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Farmer focus group meeting, Okehampton 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This farmer focus group meeting ran a preliminary test of some policy and practice notes summarising some of our work on shortlisting on-farm measures for sustainability and monitoring water quality for informing the selection of on-farm measures. Farmers and advisors were given the chance to feed back on all aspects of the outputs including length, semantics, pictures included and main messages. All attendees are keen to keep the meetings going for further engagement and some participants are now giving us their farm business data to be involved in a new farm benchmarking exercise we are undertaking for the Soil to Nutrition programme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description GW models, CAS, Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Beijing, China (two-day workshop with A Comber) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact GW models, CAS, Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Beijing, China (two-day workshop with A Comber)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Geographically Weighted PCA: Introductions and Uses. Spatial Accuracy Conference, Beijing, China (one-day workshop with A Comber) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Geographically Weighted PCA: Introductions and Uses. Spatial Accuracy Conference, Beijing, China (one-day workshop with A Comber)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Global Roundtable of Sustainable Beef 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited to give the keynote at the Global roundtable of sustainable beef in Kilkenny Ireland on 'Future Perspectives of Sustainable Agriculture'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk (Yunnan University, Kunming, China) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Professor Adie Collins gave an invited talk on the North Wyke Farm Platform and associated work in Soil to Nutrition to the Institute of International Rivers and Eco-security (IRES) and the Asian International Rivers Centre (AIRC), Yunnan University, Kunming, China. This was part of ongoing collaboration building for work on soil erosion and associated externalities arising from modern farming.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Invited talk at EAAP - European Federation of Animal Science Annual Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited to give the key note address for the Livestock and Farming Commission of EAAP on 'Agricultural sustainability metrics based on land required for production of essential human nutrients'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk at State Laboratory for Environmental Geochemistry, Guiyang, China 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Professor Adie Collins gave an invited talk on the North Wyke Farm Platform and associated Soil to Nutrition work at the State Laboratory for Environmental Geochemistry in Guiyang, China. This was part of collaboration building in conjunction with ongoing Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) work in the karst region of Puding county, China. The Chinese researchers require training in the data processing and numerical modelling techniques being developed and applied globally by Professor Adie Collins' research team. The meeting identified mistakes in the current data processing by the Chinese team - hence the need for training at Rothamsted Research. Options for Visiting Researchers from this Chinese group to visit Rothamsted are now being explored.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Invited visit by Regional Government of Chongching PR China 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Invited by the Regional Government of Chongching PR China to discuss aspects of sustainable livestock production at a gathering of party members and Scientists at Rhongchang.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited workshop attendee: BBSRC AI in Biology, Norwich, UK 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Feedback report on gaps and opportunities
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Judicial review of on-farm measures in conjunction with CaBA - July 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Prof Adrian Collins participated as a national science expert in a Judicial review of on-farm measures in conjunction with CaBA - July 2017. He answered questions on the monitored efficacy of on-farm measures for delivering improved sustainability and income. The questions covered plot/measure, field, farm and catchment scale. The impact of business-as-usual uptake of interventions as supported by cross compliance, agri-environment and PES was questioned. He also answered questions on the required timescales for monitoring to provide robust evidence on the performance of on-farm measures and on modelling tools used to explore alternative farming futures (land cover change, increased uptake of interventions relative to business-as-usual)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description LEAF Education Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The tree of tradeoffs used by the soil modelling group at the Rothamsted Festival of Ideas was used at the LEAF Education Day. The Countess of Wessex attended and we were tweeted by 'The Royal Family' and Prince Edward is now following a member of our staff.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description MSc teaching on soil erosion and available intervention methods 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Talk presented for a MSc course on soil erosion and available on-farm interventions which were discussed in terms of efficacy and costs to farmers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Mid Career Scientists training group 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact 30 young scientists were given training and took part in exercises to simulate grant and report writing. The focus was on the Defra 25 Year plan and the sustainable intensification research network. The event provided an opportunity for the scientists to network with one another
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://sirn.org.uk/event/sustainable-intensification-valuing-nature-in-dialogue-enabling-researcher...
 
Description NFU Cymru - Future of the Uplands 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact NFU Cymru hosted a discussion panel debate at the Royal Welsh show where I presented our research on Sustainable Livestock systems which covered many aspects of projects and research we are undertaking to determine the role and impact of livestock in a sustainable food chain and future environmental policy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Newton UK-China Collaborations in Agricultural Technologies Partnership Building Visit to China, 2nd-8th July 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Lianhai Wu attended this Innovate UK funded workshop and gave a pitch presentation. The direct outcome of the attendance is a joint proposal (mechanisms and technologies to improve resource use efficiency and enhance crop productivity in dry-farmland in northwest China) was developed and submitted for the Newton UK-China AgriTech call.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Press release on results on international study comparing intensive and less intensive farming 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The contribution of rothamsted Research to an international study published in the journal Nature Sustainability (Balmford et al 2018) were reported in a BBC news release by Cambridge University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Rothamsted Festival of Ideas - soil modelling group stand 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The soil modelling put together and presented over the two days of the Festival of Ideas an activity display on the future of British farming. This was a communication experiment that asked the public their thoughts on the future of agriculture and in very simple terms tried to relay some of the tradeoffs between what we may wish to see. Scientists engaged with the public on these issues and directed interested parties to other events where our research aimed for a more 'win-win' situation. The activity was very popular during the Festival of Ideas open days.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Royal Society talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Professor Adie Collins gave an invited talk at the royal Society - 'The agriculture-water quality interface - mitigating the multiple unintended consequences'. The debate in the room centred on this global grand challenge ad the significance of new understanding coming from Soil to Nutrition. All attendees recognised the significance of needing mechanistic understanding to make well informed management decisions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description SPACSYS training course - China Agricultural University (11th-15th November 2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Lianhai Wu delivered SPACSYS training course at China Agricultural University
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description SRUC Research Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited to give a key address to all staff at SRUC as part of their research day on the research we have undertaken at Rothamsted on Sustainable Livestock Systems and soil health.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Salle Farm - Wensum DTC Visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Goetz Richter and other Rothamsted colleagues visited Salle Farm - Wensum DTC including a presentation on Innovate-UK project. Discussions with UEA (University of East Anglia) re. further collaboration regarding Satellite in Agriculture - SAR dynamics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Staffing the Rothamsted Festival of Ideas 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Teagasc Walsh Fellowship funded PhD student working in association with Soil to Nutrition WP3 helped to staff the Festival of Ideas open days and undertook visitor surveys and promoted the event at the Farmers Market in Harpenden. The visitor surveys were used to report feedback and opinion/experiences concerning the Festival of Ideas.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Stapledon Seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented an invited talk on sustainable livestock at the Stapledon Seminar Series
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Tree of Tradeoffs - engagement with members of the public 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As part of the Rothamsted Festival of ideas celebrating 175 years of Rothamsted, we held an event over the last weekend in June 2018 to ask members of the public about what they would like to see from Agriculture. We had a manufactured tree on which visitors were invited to hang different coloured leaves representing their 4 choices from 6 possibilities: cheap food, rural livelihoods, environment, nutritious food, farm profit or food security. Crucially visitors were limited to the 4 choices. This enabled us to engage with them and talk about what issues were more important than others. Visitors were also encouraged to write comments on the leaves that they hung on the tree. We reached over 600 people in this way, many of them children
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Upscaling Workshop - Reading, 14th June 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Alice Milne attended a workshop & series of talks including soil pore modelling, process modelling from soil profile to global scale and modelling moisture by remote sensing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Waitrose Farm Assessment workshop (8 May 2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Prof Andy Whitmore presented on Farm practices and the farm assessment: a role for new science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017