Soil improving cropping systems: a new frontier in agriculture

With increasing attention being focused on the crucial role that soils play in fighting climate change and creating sustainable agriculture, the results of a EU research project,  SoilCare, are both timely and significant. The results are focused on how farmers can boost profitability and sustainability and also provide insights as to how advisors and policy makers can reinforce that work.  

Four clusters of soil-improving cropping systems (SICS) have been investigated during the SoilCare project: 

  • soil-improving crops, such as cover crops, 
  • fertilisation approaches, including applying farmyard manure, 
  • soil cultivation, including tillage practices, 
  • compaction alleviation, which includes activities such as deep-rooting crops. 

A virtual conference is taking place on Thursday 24th June to present the findings of this EU-funded project which has explored the potential of soil-improving cropping systems for increasing profitability, soil quality and on-farm sustainability. 

By attending participants will:

  • Learn about what SICS are
  • Gain insights from farmers about their experiences of using SICS
  • Understand the barriers and motivators affecting SICS uptake
  • Learn about the SICS mapping tool and future scenarios of use to decision-makers
  • Participate in discussions about SoilCare’s findings and policy recommendations.

Speakers include Mirco Barbero, team leader for Soil Protection and Sustainable Land Use at DG Environment (EU Commission), Melanie Muro, policy advisor at Milieu, Hedwig Van Delden, director of the Research Institute for Knowledge Systems, and Rudi Hessel, soil researcher at Wageningen Environmental Research. We will also hear from several of the researchers and farmers involved in the SoilCare experiments.

Rudi Hessel, the SoilCare project coordinator says:

“This conference is an important opportunity for those interested in soil quality to hear about how farmers can take practical actions to boost profitability and sustainability. At this conference, we will also discuss policy ideas about how to spread these insights across Europe. It is a brilliant chance for people to hear about our latest research, connect with other people and discuss the future of agriculture in Europe.

The conference will take place from 10:30-15:00 CET (09:30-14:00 UK time) on 24th June 2021. 

Free registration for the event is now open.   

Further details regarding the event, please contact:

Jane Mills – Associate Professor in Agri-environmental Behaviours
T: +44 (0) 1242 714137
E: jmills@glos.ac.uk

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