Arable Scotland: Sustainable Rotations - Soils, Integrating Legumes, Cover Crops and Cash Crops


Arable Conversations: Sustainable Rotations - Soils, Integrating Legumes, Cover Crops and Cash Crops
29th June 4 -5 pm

Led by: Tracy Valentine (James Hutton Institute).

Join us for a virtual Arable Conversation 4-5pm with Pete Iannetta (James Hutton Institute), Ed Brown (Hutchinsons), Dick Neale (Hutchinsons), Christine Watson (SRUC) and Paul Hargreaves (SRUC), which will look at the topic of sustainable rotations. The panellists will discuss how soil health and soil function are impacted in positive and negative way by the choice of crop, and how that crop fits within a sustainable rotation.

To register for the webinar visit and for more information about the event visit

Arable rotations are changing. The push to reduce farm traffic, reduce inputs of nutrients and pesticides , reduce greenhouse gas outputs, diversify the landscape, and protect and improve the status of our soil for the future are having an impact on the way we farm. How can we sustain or increase the value of our farming outputs, while achieving these goals? What do we need to measure to understand if a rotation is sustainable, particularly in terms of cropping, soil, and climate change? What are the barriers and benefits to increasing diversity, and introducing legumes and cover crops within rotations and grassland systems, particularly in Scottish contexts?

Adaptation can take time and integrating a wide variety of changes can have variable results depending on geographical location, as well as knock-on effects on soil, weeds, and yields.

This Arable Conversation session will explore the development of sustainable rotations within this context. Experts in developing sustainable practices and rotations in both arable, and grassland pasture systems, will discuss the challenges and benefits of implementing sustainable rotations, including options for diversification, and implementing different sustainable soil management systems.

Panellists taking part in the session led by Tracy Valentine from James Hutton Institute include:


Christine Watson, Professor for Agricultural Systems at SRUC Scotland’s Rural College. Her interests focus on nutrient management in agricultural systems, and she has experience in a wide range of systems from arable through to pig and dairy systems.


Dick Neale is Technical manager at Hutchinsons crop protection with expertise in soils, weed management and cover crops.


Ed Brown is Head of Agroecology for Hutchinsons and a consultant specialising in Agroecology, soil health and crop nutrition. He also heads up the HLH Cover Crop range, helping farmers and agronomists successfully implement cover crops in a range of systems.


Pete Iannetta is a biologist and ecologist based at the James Hutton Institute. He studies the design of sustainable systems, with a special focus on legumes and biological fixation of nitrogen, by rhizobia and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria.


Based at the SRUC Dairy Research and Innovation Centre in Dumfries Paul Hargreaves is a soil scientist specialising in research into grasslands and forages. He specialises in maintaining and enhancing soil quality, and how to reduce soil structural damage from the impact of farm traffic and livestock. He is exploring their effect on the compaction levels in soil and how they impact on crop yield and quality. He has recently been investigating the use of controlled traffic and wheelings on crop yield and soil loss. Other work involves EU projects in the use of novel legume mixtures and greenhouse gas emissions.

Delegates can take part in the Arable Conversations by using the hashtag #ArableScotland on Twitter to submit questions during the sessions. Five BASIS points will be available to delegates.

To register for the webinar visit and for more information about the event visit


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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...