Perennial Green Manures Webinar – Wednesday 15th Nov. 2023 19:30-20:30 GMT
Date Published: 30th October 2023
Wed, 15 Nov 2023 19:30 – 20:30 GMT
Speaker: Clo Ward: Clo (Chloe) Ward is currently the researcher for the Perennial Green Manures project, run by Ecodyfi. See https://www.dyfibiosphere.wales/perennial-green-manures for more on the project.
Perennial green manures are fertilisers made from the nitrogen-rich leaves of trees, shrubs and perennial plants. It’s an experimental technique presently being trialled on a small scale by a group of growers in mid-Wales.
Much like the fertility-building clovers and vetches long-used by farmers, nitrogen-fixing trees and shrubs such as alder and gorse work with bacteria in the soil to convert nitrogen into a form useful to plants. They can be grown in biodiverse areas of coppice woodland and perennial plantings. These fertiliser-producing areas can be situated on less productive areas of farms, such as steep slopes or boggy ground. They will also serve as biodiversity reserves and build up carbon stores in roots and soil.
Adequate nitrogen is key to good yields, but supplying the right amount at the right time is tricky. When it’s in a form available to plants, it’s also easily lost from the soil, which can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution. To manage organic nitrogen more efficiently, growers can use ‘mobile’ green manures by harvesting nitrogen-rich leaf matter from elsewhere and applying it to cropland in a targeted manner.
This event is run by Innovative Farmers, a network managed by the Soil Association and part of the Duchy Future Farming Programme. It is funded by the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund through sales of Duchy Organic products in Waitrose.