Adapting water use in agriculture to a changing climate (20-24/03/2017)

evento cranfield

Training programme (20th to 24th March 2017)

Day 1: Climate impacts on agriculture in Europe (Mon 20th March)

Time Activity
08.30 Training course registration
09.00 Welcome and course introduction (Prof Jerry Knox)

Individual participant introductions; CU staff introductions; course objectives, timetable, facilities, learning outcomes

09.20 Technical lecture: Agricultural systems and climate risks in Europe (Jerry Knox)

Composition/trends in EU agriculture, rainfed/irrigated cropping systems, agroclimate impacts on crop growth, yield and quality, climate risks

10.30 Coffee break
10.45 Technical lecture: Water resources for agriculture in Europe (Dr David Haro)

Water resources management and allocation, drought and water scarcity, hydrological impacts of climate change and drought on water supply for agriculture

11.45 Technical lecture: Geospatial modelling for climate impact assessment
(Dr Steve Hallett)Soils, land use, agroclimate and climate change data; application of GIS, remote sensing, informatics and Big Data for modelling CC impacts on agriculture
12.45 Buffet lunch
13:30 Computer exercise: Modelling climate impacts on irrigated and rainfed crops
(Prof Jerry Knox and Dr David Haro)Introduction to WaSim water balance model and Aquacrop crop growth model.

Modelling relationships between climate variability and irrigation need; Climate impacts on yield, scheduling and technology choice impacts on irrigation need.

Participants to work on case studies to reflect different EU irrigated and rainfed agricultural systems in Europe.

Participants prepare short presentation and present their findings to the group.

Open discussion and Q and A session

17.30 Workshop close
Participants return to accommodation, meet for group dinner (19.00)

Day 2: Climate adaptation and responses for EU agriculture (Tues 21st March)

Time Activity
08.30 Registration and refreshments
08.45 Technical lecture: Farmer responses to drought and water scarcity (Dr Lola Rey)

Historical drought impacts, farmer attitudes to future drought risk, farmer adaptation options, economics of climate adaptation

09.45 Technical lecture: How can crop genetics and plant breeding help? (Prof Andrew Thompson)

Breeding for drought tolerance; climate extreme impacts on crop growth

10.45 Coffee break
11.00 Technical lecture: How can use of agricultural residues influence soil organic matter levels and water retention? (Dr Ruben Sakrabani)

Agricultural residues mineralisation in soil to influence soil organic matter and subsequent impact on water retention.

12.00 Technical lecture: Water and energy footprints of Mediterranean irrigated agriculture (Dr Andre Daccache, IAMB, Bari via Webex)

Technology and management adaptation responses and trade-offs; CO2 emissions, water use and water efficiency

13.00 Buffet lunch
14:00 CLIMSAVE Modelling climate impacts in Europe: Web tool practical (Prof Jerry Knox; Dr David Haro)

Software webtool demonstration of CLIMSAVE tool for evaluating cross sectoral interactions, competition for land and water, impacts and adaptation.

Cross-sectoral interactions can strongly influence the expected outcome of adaptation options. For example, increased irrigation efficiency can save water and hence help water-stressed wetland species. However, increased irrigation efficiency reduces the cost for irrigating a fixed area of land and therefore makes irrigated production more profitable. Hence, the area of irrigated production increases and the number of river basins suffering from high water stress can increase resulting in a mal-adaptation for wetland biodiversity, unless considered in combination with other constraints to limit water consumption.

Students work on EU case studies with different agricultural cropping mixes, water resource conditions and socio economic scenario to evaluate cross sectoral impacts and climate adaptation responses. Students put into two groups (agriculture intensification v environmental protection) and based on CLIMASAVE simulations, develop presentation to support a formal debate, followed by discussion.

17.30 Workshop close
Participants return to accommodation, meet for group dinner (19.00)

Day 3: Field visit: Agricultural water management in East Anglia (Wed 22nd March)

Time Activity
07.30 Meet outside Vincent Building 52

You will need to wear suitable clothing and footwear for visiting farm sites and muddy fields. Assume weather will be mixed. Wet weather clothing needed.

09.00 Site visit 1: Holme Fen, Cambs

Travel by minibus to the lowest land point in GB, below sea level. Holme Fen posts illustrate how land drainage and agricultural intensification has impacted on peatland oxidation and land subsidence. Local sites show how increased climate variability is impacting on cropping, drainage, irrigation, land management and soil erosion.


10.00 Site visit 2: D&G Matthews, David Matthews, West Pinchbeck, South Lincs

Farm visit to meet David Matthews, who owns an intensive irrigated farming enterprise growing high value vegetables and potatoes for the supermarkets. We will see drip irrigation being installed and have an opportunity to talk to David about how he is dealing with climate variability, drought risk and retailer pressures for supplying premium quality produce. An opportunity to learn about commercial irrigated farming, challenges of water management and business risks.

12.30 Site visit 3: Denver Sluice Complex, Norfolk

A large area of the most productive agricultural land in the UK is susceptible to tidal flooding. The Denver Sluice Complex is a major engineering structure manged by the Environment Agency (EA) and responsible for controlling water levels in this highly important agricultural area.

We will have a tour of the complex and hear from EA staff who manage the site and how they are coping with increased climate uncertainty to manage agricultural and environmental water demands.

13.15 Lunch and refreshments at a local pub
15.00 Site visit 4: Great Britain Eco Centre, Norfolk

Travel by minibus from Denver Sluice to the Eco Centre to climb the only publicly accessible wind turbine with a viewing platform 70m high offering 360 degree views of the Norfolk agricultural countryside


18.00 Workshop dinner for participants at a local pub/restaurant en route back to Cranfield
21.00 Arrive back at Cranfield

Day 4: Master class in writing and winning contract research (Thurs 23rd March)

Time Activity
09.15 Identifying EU funding opportunities for research

Dr Cecilia Fenech Brincat, Research and Innovation Office, CU

Introduction to the online portals and research funding opportunities including Horizon 2020 programme; Delegates introduced to Research Professional and other search facilities; hands-on training in using search databases.

10.45 Coffee break
11.00 Developing a personal strategy for winning contract research

Prof Jerry Knox

Understanding the proposal writing process; what makes a good proposal; the 7 tips for successful proposal writing; ethics, Health and Safety and Environmental policy, gender aspects; evaluation criteria

12.30 Buffet lunch
13.30 Drafting a research proposal: individual exercise

Prof Jerry Knox, Dr Steve Hallett

Delegates given an Invitation to Tender (ITT) document with a project brief. They will then develop an outline plan for their research including potential partners, outline research approach, indicative budget, timeline and planned outputs. Round up and discussion with each delegate describing their planned approach for their proposal

17.30 Workshop close. Participants return to accommodation

 Day 5: Research paper writing (Fri 24th March)

Time Activity
09.00 Transferable skills – the art of technical writing

Prof Jerry Knox

Learning how to write for different audiences is an important transferable skill. This lecture will cover technical writing, writing quality, and writing an Abstract

10.30 Coffee break
10.45 Writing a research paper

Prof Andre Thompson

Getting published is a critical element of research. This lecture will cover the peer review process, steps to writing a high quality science paper and getting published

12.00 Promoting and disseminating your research

Dr Ruben Sakrabani

Getting a paper published is only half the story. Getting your work disseminated, read, and cited is key to developing your research track record and reputation. This lecture will focus on different online systems, bibliographic databases, and ways in which you can maximise the impact and outreach of your research

13.00 Workshop lunch
14.00 Workshop close Delegates depart for airport