18th May 2011, 9:31am
Event offers latest biofertiliser research for farmers and growers
AD spreader An event for farmers, growers, agricultural consultants and students on the use of quality digestate (biofertiliser) and compost on agricultural land will take place at the University of Lincoln’s Riseholme campus on 26 May.

The free event, Using quality digestate and compost for agricultural benefit, will cover composting and anaerobic digestion (AD) in the UK, looking at how AD is being used for environmental and commercial advantage and informing delegates about a new programme of WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) and Defra funded agricultural field experiments.

The ‘Digestate and Compost in Agriculture’ experiments are quantifying the effects of contrasting compost and digestate applications on soil and crop quality, crop available nitrogen supply, and emissions to the air and water environment.

The findings will help farmers maximise the potential of anaerobic digestate (biofertiliser) and compost in order to grow quality crops and improve soil management on-farm. Embracing resource efficiency, that is, using natural resources in the most effective way whilst minimising the impact of their use on the environment, is essential for the future sustainability of British farming and field horticulture.

The project will show the environmental potential of alternatives to increasingly expensive traditional inorganic fertilisers, but will also highlight other potentially significant financial benefits such as increased crop quality and yield, leading the way in sustainable intensification. These combined ‘wins’ make a positive business case for those in the sector considering the use of organic products not only today, but for generations to come.

Principal Lecturer in Agriculture and Land-based studies at the University, David Stainton, said: “The University of Lincoln will play a key role in disseminating information from the Digestate and Compost in Agriculture project. We will be providing knowledge exchange opportunities, such as the event in May, as well as incorporating the information into our courses at all levels, including our new BSc in Agriculture and the Environment.”

Using quality organic resources such as digestate or compost will deliver many benefits, from improving soil structure to enhancing nutrient supply. However, carefully monitoring the environmental impact of digestate and compost is a key focus of this research.

Following the morning presentations there will be an opportunity to tour the Branston anaerobic digestion facility close to Riseholme.

The event runs from 9.30am – 1pm, followed by a complimentary lunch. The tour to the Branston AD site will run until 3pm.

For more information or to register to attend the event and reserve your place on the site visit, contact: Michelle Mortimer on 01522 895441 or email mmortimer@lincoln.ac.uk.

For the latest information on the Digestate & Compost in Agriculture project visit the WRAP website at www.wrap.org.uk/dc-agri.
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