Category Archives: drought

Rainfall down 46%

Suffolk now. Just wait.

The latest UK government climate change predictions, UKCP18, found British summer temperatures could be 5.4°C higher by 2070 while average rainfall is expected to fall by 47% over the same period. Sea level rise is likely to be around 1.15m in the Thames Estuary by 2100.

Recycling most urban wastes to farm land, reducing the use of manufactured fertilisers, particularly Nitrogen (manufacture has s very high energy cost) can raise yields, reduces irrigation need, reduce crop disease and lock up Carbon.  And the green leaf takes Carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and gives us Oxygen back! Only farming can do this.  Far from being difficult with regulation, our children will not forgive us if we do not actively promote and enable this.  No just nice words, real action to enable is necessary.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd  30 November 2018

P.S.  Also see “Reversing Global Warming for Profit”, published by MX Publishing.

Double Whammy from composting urban wastes

If the UK Environment Agency is serious about the environment, then it needs to ensure nearly every UK farm has a compost opertion, not on concrete.

 

The new blockbuster climate report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations makes two things startlingly clear. First, we must massively accelerate the decarbonisation of the global economy. This will require rapid system-wide transformations in the way we build our cities, generate energy, grow food and manufacture goods. And second, we must capture carbon right out of the air.

What composting of urban wastes does is to reduce and eliminate the use of mineral fertilisers. (One tonne of N made in a modern USA factory typically consumes 21,000 kWh of electricity – which was probably generated using an engine burning fossilised fuel, which produced Carbon dioxide.)  Farming also grows crops with green leaves – which take Carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.  These two activities, composting urban wastes and growing green leaves, lock up organic Carbon and reduce the release of the GHG (Green House Gas) Carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  What’s more, crops grown on high Carbon soils need less irrigation, less pesticide sprays, lodge less and yield more.  Only farming can do this.

Bill Butterworth,   Land Research Ltd   28 October 18

Only farmers can do this

This Suffolk soil needed irrigation until large amounts of “urban” composts were added. See this website and go to “Articles”and click on No 6.

While attention is often focused on carbon locked up in trees, in fact, most of this carbon lies in the soil. Below ground Carbon includes an array of sources such as the root systems of trees and soil organic matter. Scientists estimate that by managing the world’s land more sustainably, such as by protecting forests and investing in reforestation, we could achieve up to 37 percent of emissions reductions necessary to limit the global rise in temperature to 2 degrees Celsius by 2030.  So, inescapably, recycle urban organic Carbon wastes to farm land by composting.

Only farmers can do this.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 31 October 8

On your farm

A disc at a slight angle, a coulter with a mini-plough share and a depth wheel, all cleverly set up to give even depth of placement, good soil-seed contact and very even crop emergence. We are growing crops, not just plants.

In the farming program, morning of 27th on BBC Radio 4, mention was of the dry summer and problems with seedbeds this autumn.  I was reminded of one of the privileges of my life as in meeting and working with an agricultural engineer who designed a grain drill.  The first really clever bit (a strong patent) was that whatever the quantity of grain in the bin, the pressure on the coulters remained constant.  Secondly, a very shallow disc at a slight angle cut a shallow slit.  Behind the disc was a coulter with a head like a small plough share which wiped any straw out of the slit (I did camera work on this action – it did work) and planted the seed.  This was followed by a depth wheel to press the soil round the seed to get good seed-soil contact.

The result was minimal disturbance of the soil (and chitting of weeds in the seedbed), very even depth of placement and the most even emergence of the crop that I have yet seen.  Importantly this year (and most years) with minimum soil moisture loss from the seedbed.  That man was Sam Moore and, I am happy to say, he still has happy memories of a golden age in farm machinery development but, I guess, leaves Sam Jnr to captain the ship that is still Moore Unidrill.

Bill Butterworth,  Land Research Ltd   27 October 18

Storms Are Moving Poleward

 

We can expect stronger storms and, therfefore, increased lodging risk.

According to the World Resource Institute, Scientists suspect that human-caused warming can help explain why the latitude of where tropical cyclones reach their peak intensity has moved 53 and 62 kilometers poleward per decade in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, respectively, away from the tropics. While there has yet to be any signal of migration of storm intensity in the Atlantic, this migration is occurring in other ocean basins, especially the Pacific and South Indian Oceans. Regions that are further away from the equator could see an increased risk of intense storms. On the other hand, those communities closer to the equator, which rely upon tropical cyclone rainfall as freshwater, could see threats to their water supplies.

Bill Butterworth, Land research Ltd, 29th Sept 18

Farming in a drought

 

Desert in Suffolk, UK. Some years, this area really is within the UN definition of desert.

See https://landresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/a-top-ideathat-holds-water.pdf 

And also see ” articles on the top ribbon of this website home page.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 30 Aug 18

3D’s- Direct drilling and drought

In direst drilling, getting even depth of placement and good seed-soil contact is important.

 

Some will be old enough to remember the Bettinson 3D drill.  Direct drilling went out of fashion in the early 1990’s but it is back and what a year in 2018 to start direct drilling! Drought is a killer in the seedbed and cultivations drive off water. So, this year will take a bit of managing and some luck, too. Harrow to get the weed seeds to chit.  Shower of rain, please. Green up. Spay off with glyphosate. Direct drill. Showers of rain please.  Roll if useful. Would that it were as easy as that.  However, it is still much easier than trying to get a wider range of conventional cultivations through. Direct drilling is lower cost, faster and therefore there is a timeliness gain, conserves soil moisture, over-all does give a little better yields, certainly at lower cost.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, August 18