Soil-improving cropping systems aim to maintain soil functions. To assess the effectiveness of such systems, our research team are setting up innovation hubs with the help of pioneering farms that have already worked in this field. Setting up innovation hubs will help to clarify whether soil-improving cropping systems can actually contribute to protecting soil functions, and how other farms can be persuaded to adopt this approach.
Protecting the soil with no losses
As part of the innovation hub initiative,we are examining around 60 areas of arable land across Switzerland to establish the impact of soil-improving cropping systems on various agricultural parameters including crop yields, income per hectare, soil structure and soil microbiology. The aim is to develop tools and evaluate the suitability of management systems and strategies for their widespread use in Swiss farming.
These findings will make it possible to draw up recommendations for Swiss farmers on appropriate soil management. They will also make it possible to develop tools for evaluating and safeguarding sustainable soil functions for future agricultural ecosystems. The innovation hubs will act as information exchange platforms for the practical testing of innovative cropping systems. By referencing the areas examined and archiving soil samples, the aim is to help establish the long-term future of the innovation hubs.