HC Deb 12 June 1995 vol 261 c378W
Mr. Martyn Jones

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what research is being undertaken on the application of sludge to farm land. [26940]

Mr. Jack

My Department is spending about £0.7 million in 1995–96 on six research projects concerning sewage sludge applications to farm land. The project titles, contractors and estimated costs for 1995–96 are as follows:

Effects of sewage sludge on agricultural productivity and soil fertility. This project is funded Jointly with the Department of the Environment, the Welsh Office and the United Kingdom Water Industry Research Limited. The Scottish Office is funding complementary work in relation to this project. Contractor: ADAS, IACR Rothamsted and WRc 1995–96 costs: £393,000 (MAFF contribution £94,000).

Accumulation of Potentially Toxic Elements by livestock grazing sludge grassland. Contractor: Chalcombe Agricultural Resource. 1995–96 costs: £169.000.

Assessment of the availability of heavy metals and their effects on soil microbiology. Contractor: IACR Rothamsted 1995–96 costs: £145.000.

The vulnerability of soils to pollution by heavy metals. Contractor: Reading University 1995–96 costs £98,000.

Effects of heavy metals from sewage sludge on the growth and yield of legumes. Contractor: ADAS 1995–96 costs: £97,000.

Effects of inorganic metal salt additions to agricultural soils on soil microbial activity and long-term fertility. Contractor: ADAS 1995–96 costs: £28,000.

In addition, the Scottish Office is spending £0.6 million in 1995–96 on research at the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute and the Scottish agricultural college and the Department of the Environment has an on-going £0.25 million per year research programme on sewage sludge utilisation.

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