Using earthworms as indicators of soil health - Jackie Stroud, Rothamsted Research

Using earthworms as indicators of soil health

Earthworms are like the miner’s canary, indicating a problem with the underground world. They are sensitive to pH, water-logging, compaction, rotations, tillage and responsive to applications of organic matter. This is why there is a major project underway to investigate the use of earthworms as indicators of soil health.

Jackie Stroud, NERC Soil Security Fellow, is a world leading authority on earthworms, or “soil ecosystem engineers” as she calls them, and she has been investigating the relationship between type and abundance of earthworms and healthy soil.  She is one of the speakers at ‘Waiting for the Worms’ the topic of our Water and Soil Health Special Interest Group event on 16th May 2018.

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Agri-tech news update

  • Applying gaming tech to weed busting wins Agri-Tech Hackathon

    Published: 16 April, 2018

    A number of exciting concepts emerged from Agri-Tech East’s first hackathon, which was designed to focus the diverse talents of multi-disciplinary teams on intractable problems in agriculture. The overall winner was ‘WeedSpot’, which applies gaming technologies to artificial intelligence weed identification.

    Hosted in partnership with Allia Serious Impact, and kindly sponsored by BASF, Barclays and SmithsonHill, the >sudo : grow hackathon attracted participants spanning five decades in age, with representatives from four continents and from many disciplines. Farmers, plant scientists, coders, machine learning experts and software engineers all worked together over the weekend.

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  • Ceres Agritech Knowledge Exchange Partnership to boost multidisciplinary agri-tech research

    Published: 11 April, 2018

    The agri-food research community across the East of England has received a boost with a £4.78m investment in the new Ceres Agritech Knowledge Exchange Partnership. The Ceres Agritech Knowledge Exchange Partnership…

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  • New Zealand farmer cooperative LIC meets Agri-Tech East members

    Published: 21 March, 2018

    We were delighted to welcome a board level delegation of farmers, scientists and businesses from LIC, New Zealand’s largest farmer co-operative focusing on herd improvement and agri-tech, to Cambridge this week. The co-operative…

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  • New Knowledge and Innovation Facilitator bringing technology into the field

    Published: 20 March, 2018

    Laura Bouvet has been appointed Knowledge and Innovation Facilitator for Agri-Tech East and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB); the first time the two organisations have collaborated in this…

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  • Farming by Satellite – competition welcomes new ideas

    Published: 7 March, 2018

    “How can we use satellite technologies to improve agriculture and reduce environmental impact?” – if you have some good ideas or an innovation that uses satellite technology then you have…

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  • Chance to shape Defra funding for agri-tech

    Published: 28 February, 2018

    Agri-Tech East is hosting a Defra workshop on 24th April that provides an opportunity for everyone with an interest in agri-tech to help shape the future delivery of funding. The…

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