Topic ID: FS2/MT4

Innovative soil management practices in Europe and their suitability for European farming systems

Rationale

Innovative farming practices are being developed, often by farmers themselves (e.g. highly diverse cover crops, mixed annual perennial crops, associated crops, crops with deep rooting systems, agroforestry systems), and a high variability of the soil management practices developed and implemented is expected across Europe. An evaluation of the ability of such new management practices to succeed in achieving multiple goals is necessary. This should help to identify management practices or interactions between management practices, pedoclimatic context and/or agro-climatic zones that need knowledge development via EJP SOIL future internal calls research projects.

Scope

This stocktake will first identify innovative soil management practices and technologies in Europe developed by farmers, industry and research. Second, the study will evaluate the applicability and suitability of these and more well-known soil management practices and technologies for climate smart sustainable soil management for different pedo-climatic zones and farming systems in Europe.

The practices and technologies described needs to address the EJP SOIL target “good agricultural soil management for: climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable production, ecosystem services and less soil degradation” and - at best - have the potential to achieve multiple goals (e.g. g. pest and disease control).

The practices/technologies may include cropping system technologies such as cover cropping, intercropping, green manuring, diverse rotations, systems with deep rooted crops, agroforestry systems, residue handling/mulching), tillage and traffic  technologies (no-tillage, conservation agriculture, light machinery, low pressure tires/inflation pressure regulation), fertilization/manuring and biochar technologies, irrigation technologies.

Novel technologies for improved spatio-temporal management of soils in terms of digital farming and precision agriculture would also be relevant to address. Further, the activity should deal with socioeconomic barriers to the implementation of such technologies, including economic incentives, knowledge systems, and cultural barriers.

Output/Expected impact

Identified innovative soil management practices developed by farmers, industry and research that are of interest for countries participating in the EJP SOIL. Identified and assessed effects innovative soil management practices on EJP SOIL targets (i.e. climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, sustainable agricultural production, ecosystem services, soil rehabilitation). Adoption trends of identified innovative soil management practices and their potentials to enhance suitability of European farming systems under given specific climatic constraints, barriers or enablers, and knowledge gaps.    

Project type: Combined stocktake / 40 PM / collecting information from multiple countries.

Available funding: 460 k€