"The industrialization of agriculture increased the crop yield, but more and more the negative side of this boom. 2.000 pesticides with 500 different chemical substances are used in the European Union. Which effects do they have on soil health?" The documentary about the research on pesticides of Wageningen University starts with this introduction. Violette Geissen and Esperanza Huerta, who works on the Diverfarming project, talk about pesticides and the negative impacts of it on the soil health.Watch this video here.
The 16th of October, 2018 is announced as World Food Day. Theme of this World Food Day is:
"Our actions are our future – a #zerohunger world by 2030 is possible".
As healthy soils are the basis for a sustainable food production, the iSQAPER consortium pays also attention to this theme by means of a photo story about soil health. The photo story, authored by Marjolein van Rijn (BothEnds), focusses on a field visit to Kasepuhan Karang. The story describes certain effects after state forest was transferred into customary land.
The iSQAPER consortium brings soil quality to ones fingertips.
A newly developed Soil Quality Mobile App (SQAPP) has been launched during the last plenary meeting in Tartu, Estonia (12-15 June, 2018) of the iSQAPER project. SQAPP offers an easy-to-use tool that brings global soil data into the decision-making sphere of land users and other interested end users. SQAPP returns available soil quality information for any location in the world, simply picked by the user from a world map. Soil properties for that specific location are then shown and possibilities are offered to cycle through these values and to adapt them if necessary. Rather than scoring soil quality in absolute terms, the app scores the soil quality relative to the average soil quality within areas with similar soil and climatic conditions (so-called pedo-climatic zones). For example, 80% means that only 20% of the area of the selected pedoclimatic zone is considered to have a higher indicator value than the point location being assessed.
Depending on location as well as soil properties SQAPP will also give an overview of possible soil threats. These soil threats are scored based on general, scientifically-derived threshold values.
A summary shows the overall threat level and to which soil parameters and soil threats attention needs to be paid to reach a better soil quality. Moreover, recommendations are provided on how this can be achieved.
SQAPP is a test version and freely available on Google Play Store and the Apple Appstore. So, take your chance and green your fingers, help us testing the Soil Quality app.
Feedback is appreciated and can be send to the Wageningen University iSQAPER management team (see below). Project partners can also use the internal online Forum for discussion.