Soil is our basis for the production of healthy food. However, many of our soils are subject to severe stresses such as an oversupply of nutrients, compaction or erosion. In addition, soil stores a significant amount of carbon in the form of humus, which can be lost through inadequate management and thus contribute to climate change by releasing climate-active gases.
The European Joint Programme EJP SOIL aims to provide solutions to these challenges. In close cooperation with European partner organisations, a knowledge base for "climate-smart" agriculture is being developed. Key questions of current and future agricultural land use are to be answered in topic-specific individual projects.
As part of the circular economy, the recycling of biogenic residues can help to close material and energy cycles. The Agrocomposit project focuses on fertilisers and soil improvers that can be produced by composting with the addition of biochar (“agrocomposites”).
Soils provide a multitude of ecosystem services that can contribute to both climate change adaptation and mitigation. Land management practices significantly affect the ability of soils to provide these services. We aim to determine how specific agroecological (AE) land management practices affect soil ecosystem services.
Grassland soils store around 20% of global carbon stocks. In many places, however, over-intensive management of grasslands leads to a deterioration in grassland quality. Carbon can be released from the soil as a result. Optimal management in terms of carbon storage therefore differs from situation to situation and has not yet been sufficiently researched.
The use of visible and near infrared (vis-NIR) soil spectroscopy is becoming increasingly established as a technology for soil analysis. In ProbeField we are looking at ways to overcome the problems of scanning soils with variable conditions (moisture, structure) directly in the field with portable vis-NIR scanners.