At this time of introduction of a hosepipe ban in the NW of England, maybe a moment (if we get a wet day during harvest) to think about not running short of water in our soils next year. So, a check list for before serous rain starts.
- Know where water is coming from. Of course, it is the rain. Is it? Is wat3r coming from other land onto yours? Can it be diverted or managed better? What about ground water.
- What route does the water take off your land? Do you want it to leave?
- Is lack of maintenance of ditches and drainage a significant issue?
- What speed is the water when it leaves your land? Will it case flooding lower down?
- Can you harvest the water?
- Does water leaving your land carry nutrients at a loss?
- What is the organic matter level in each of your fields? Will that level help manage water at the right time for cultivations, crop growth and harvest?
- How can you change the organic matter of your soils?
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 17 July 18