Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Our letter in The Times: Well-funded research is key

Dear Sir

In the battle to produce more food while ensuring that we leave room for wildlife it is crucial that we take the best from all farming methods to maintain a sustainable agricultural industry in the future (report: Britain must be free to grow GM food, says minister, Jan 8th).

Well-funded research is key to solving this dilemma.

Research on our own Allerton Project farm has shown that reduced or no ploughing (no-till) can have overwhelming benefits to soil health and crop production.  Less soil disturbance means more earthworms and soil fungi and this in turn helps to improve soil structure thus increasing its capacity to absorb water during heavy rainfall. Importantly carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by employing this system and this can all be achieved without necessarily having to use GM crops.

Dr Alastair Leake
Director of Policy
Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust

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