Radio 4 Farming Today and a letter to producer Beatrice Fenton

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Your programme this morning was exactly about what we do and covers what is described as a ‘very serious situation’.

Because farming has got so large scale, so has disease.

As you may know our take on all the diseases mentioned in today’s broadcast are all solvable with soil remediation. These include Stem Rust, potato Blight, Mildews and Downey Mildews and other plant pathogens.

Soil remediation is about establishing the right fungi and bacteria in the soil, then with the addition of Biochar, these conditions can be preserved.

Without these conditions being preserved our soils will continue to further degrade, assisted by intensive cropping and leachate caused by heavy rain and the longer we maintain massive farms with massive open fields the harder it is going to be to replenish these soils.

I will be contacting Professor Dan Bebber of Exeter to see what he has to say about our approach.

Best regards
Richard Higgins

P,S, In our view what Dr. Ruben Sakrabani of Cranfield, who I visited some years ago, is missing in his approach to pelletising food waste is that in this process you do not allow for the generation of any fungi or bacteria.


The RHS on Downy Mildews:

Downy mildews can spoil the appearance of ornamental plants and affect the yield and quality of edible crops. Control depends on cultural techniques as no effective fungicides are available to amateur gardeners.

This is simply not true. We have had the solution to this problem through our soil remediation programme for over 25 years.

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Plants affected Many ornamental and edible plants, including brassicas, columbine, Impatiens, grapevines, lettuces, onions, peas, pansies, tobacco plants.

Other comments from Professor Bebber:

Problems with leaf spot on winter wheat and stem rust. Crop models don’t look at pests and diseases (biological factors). What’s needed is better investment in plant pathology.

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