The National Soil Monitoring Network NABO records and documents the soil quality at around 100 sites. The continuous monitoring helps to identify undesirable developments at an early stage. This reference network has been used since 1985 to monitor the effectiveness of environmental protection measures. In particular, the focus is on material accumulations in the soil, soil compaction and soil biology.

Nutrients and pollutants accumulate long term in soils; however, these processes are often difficult to detect. Therefore, NABO carries out an additional indirect monitoring. Data on agricultural use will be collected for selected sites and material balances derived. Substance balancing helps to identify undesirable developments in the soil at an early stage and enables forecasts and scenarios to be drawn up. This modelling instrument serves as a precautionary tool in soil protection.