The States of Jersey are hosting an international conference on sea lettuce today and tomorrow. SOS Jersey weren’t invited, but will be there, at The Grand, covering both days.
Click for Sea Lettuce Report – where we are at and why and what we can do about it – October 2017 – by Jacqui Carrel of SOS Jersey (easy to read and in PDF format); Tony Legg’s paper SEA LETTUCE BLOOM MITIGATION – A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY USING ST AUBINS BAY JERSEY – OCTOBER 2017 – TONY LEGG; information about Glyn Mitchell’s soil regeneration project.
The first day and a half will comprise more science-orientated presentations from visiting speakers and Friday afternoon is a general information session. If you would like to speak with me, please do!
Because of also being contacted (and it was too late by the time Mr Legg contacted the States), aquaculture specialist Tony Legg (BSc (Hons) Applied Zoology (UCNW) CiBiol, MIBiol, MIFM) cannot speak at the event, as he will be speaking at a conference on Native Oyster restoration in Ireland and thereafter going to the EAS conference in Dubrovnik where he am chairing a session on Native Oysters.
We feel this is a great opportunity missed, both in terms of the States hearing Mr Legg’s proposition and in terms of peers being able to give their thoughts, feedback and suggestions to his ideas on controlling the effects of excess nitrates in the Bay to help prevent blooms.
We are also sorry to see our local soil ecologist Glyn Mitchell also sidelined. Why? He also has ideas about cutting nitrates, this time at source.
Click here to read our short report on the matter: Sea Lettuce Report – where we are at and why and what we can do about it – October 2017 – by Jacqui Carrel of SOS Jersey
Click here to read Tony Legg’s paper: SEA LETTUCE BLOOM MITIGATION – A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY USING ST AUBINS BAY JERSEY – OCTOBER 2017 – TONY LEGG (PDF)
More on sea lettuce
More on soil regeneration
Click here to see more about Glyn Mitchell’s work on soil regeneration. (Opens in new tab/window to Credible Food website).
The first study, “The Myth of Nitrogen Fertilization for Soil Carbon Sequestration” (Journal of Environmental Quality, 2007) found that synthetic nitrogen fertilizer use was rapidly depleting soil’s carbon sequestration abilities (e.g. rather than storing carbon, carbon stores are released into the atmosphere as CO2):
“Intensive use of N fertilizers in modern agriculture is motivated by the economic value of high grain yields and is generally perceived to sequester soil organic C by increasing the input of crop residues. This perception is at odds with a century of soil organic C data reported herein for the Morrow Plots, the world’s oldest experimental site under continuous corn (Zea maysL.).
After 40 to 50 yr of synthetic fertilization that exceeded grain N removal by 60 to 190%, a net decline occurred in soil C despite increasingly massive residue C incorporation… These findings implicate fertilizer N in promoting the decomposition of crop residues and soil organic matter and are consistent with data from numerous cropping experiments involving synthetic N fertilization in the USA Corn Belt and elsewhere, although not with the interpretation usually provided.
There are important implications for soil C sequestration because the yield-based input of fertilizer N has commonly exceeded grain N removal for corn production on fertile soils since the 1960s. To mitigate the ongoing consequences of soil deterioration, atmospheric CO2 enrichment, and NO3 − pollution of ground and surface waters, N fertilization should be managed by site-specific assessment of soil N availability.
Current fertilizer N management practices, if combined with corn stover removal for bioenergy production, exacerbate soil C loss.” The second study, “Synthetic Nitrogen Fertilizers Deplete Soil Nitrogen: A Global Dilemma for Sustainable Cereal Production”*16 (Journal of Environmental Quality, 2009) demonstrated that long-term use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer was increasingly depleting the soil’s nitrogen storage capacities, and therefore making continued crop production on those soils impossible:
“This decline [in soil Nitrogen] is in agreement with numerous long-term baseline data sets from chemical-based cropping systems involving a wide variety of soils, geographic regions, and tillage practices. The loss of organic N decreases soil productivity and the agronomic efficiency (kg grain kg(-1) N) of fertilizer N and has been implicated in widespread reports of yield stagnation or even decline for grain production in Asia. A major global evaluation of current cereal production systems should be undertaken…”
In short: the conventional thinking of conventional agriculture in regards to synthetic nitrogen fertilizer use is not just wrong, it’s dangerously wrong. Synthetic nitrogen fertilizer is rapidly depleting the world’s soil fertility, burning out its carbon stores, and causing an increase in fertilizer use in order to continue getting a yield from the same land. This is why, in the past forty years, nitrogen fertilizer efficiency (the rate at which plants are able to use the nitrogen fertilizer applied on fields) has decreased by two-thirds while nitrogen fertilizer use per hectare of land has increased sevenfold. (Global average of 8.6 kg/ha in 1961 to 62.5 kg/ha in 2006.)*18