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IAgrE is the professional body for engineers, scientists, technologists and managers in agricultural and allied landbased industries. Click the icons to find out more.

Soil and Water Specialist Interest Group

Soil and water management underpins all aspects of agricultural engineering from the production of food, fodder, fibre and (bio)fuel, to the regulation of water supplies, the mitigation of climate change and the creation of habitats for biodiversity. The aim of sustainable soil and water management is simply to get “more, from less”. However, soil degradation in the form of soil erosion, compaction, loss of organic matter, declining biodiversity and surface sealing (urbanisation) are major threats to soil and water resources…and to all the benefits they deliver to society.

The Soil and Water Specialist Interest Group brings together all grades of membership of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers to share their experience and expertise in soil and water. This includes how do we best assess soil quality and soil health? How do we improve soil physical, chemical and biological condition? What are the interactions between the soil, crop, water and implement? Which sustainable soil and water management practices help optimise these relationships, such as the adoption of minimum or conservation tillage, and controlled traffic farming. What does the new Defra E.L.M Scheme bring to incentivise good soil and water management?

The S&W SIG are always looking for new members and new ideas of how to connect with like-minded soil and water engineers within the Institution (and beyond!). For further information, please contact Jane Rickson, Professor of Soil Erosion and Conservation, Cranfield University; Past President of the IAgrE (S&W SIG Chair; [email protected]) or Dr Tim Chamen [email protected] (S&W SIG Secretary)

Listed below are a selection of reports, lectures and webinars that will be of interest to those working within this area.  Please get in touch with Jane or the Secretariat if you have additional material that may be suitable to use.


Follow the links below for more resources and news of interest to those working in Soil & Water

The public consultation for the new EU Soil Strategy is now open - find out more here

SocEnv have published a report into Soils and Stones, looking at the challenges and opportunities for professionals working across construction, forestry, engineering and agricultural management.  Past President and Professor of Soil Erosion and Conservation, Jane Rickson, has been involved in the production of the report, which may be found here.  The report launch event was recorded and you can watch the recording here.

Following the publication of the Soils & Stones Report the Society for the Environment are trying to help achieve the report's recommendations by feeding into the Soil Health Action Plan for England (SHAPE) - if you are interested in getting involved with this find out more here

AHDB Report - Preserve Soils: reduce soil erosion!

AHDB Care Study - Grassed Waterways

Soil & Water Conference 2013 - New Technologies in soil measurement
Agrii - Stuart Alexander - Precision Agronomy Manager
Delta-T - Dick Jenkins and Martin Goodchild - Putting research into practice
Cranfield Univeristy - Shinji Suzuki - Measurement of soil water potential associated with thermodynamics
Rothamsted Research - Chris Watts - ERT imaging of root uptake

The Soil and Water Management website has some very useful information and joining may be of interest to members - this is their Guide to cutting soil compaction

Soil in hands photo created by jcomp -

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