Parliamentary inquiry looks at challenges faced by farmers and land managers

The role of soil in agriculture is under scrutiny

The role of soil in agriculture is under scrutiny

The second evidence session in the cross-party parliamentary inquiry into soil health will focus on the important role played by agriculture.

On Tuesday 9 May the committee will ask about the challenges farmers and other land managers face when seeking to both look after their soil and also run a profitable business.

This is expected to involve discussion of the potential disadvantages and the advantages they could gain from better soil management, such as reduced yields, but also reduced reliance on expensive fertilisers.

The committee is likely to ask how the government’s new Environmental Land Management schemes (ELMs), which are replacing the EU Common Agricultural Policy, will achieve sustainable soil management goals. The committee may also discuss wider changes needed to gear the UK’s whole food supply chain towards more sustainably produced food that protects soils.

Witnesses at the session include York farmer Richard Bramley, chair of the NFU’s Environment Forum; Professor Pippa Chapman, chair in biogeochemistry in the School of Geography at the University of Leeds; James Robinson, vice chair of the Nature Friendly Farming Network; and James Woodward, sustainable farming officer for Sustain.