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.
Latest developments on CAP Post-2020 debate
21 November 2018 10:00-11:30 (CET)
organized by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP)
(Catherine Bowyer, Stephen Meredith, Silvia Nanni, Clunie Keenleyside and, David Baldock)
The webinar is meant for sharing the latest developments on CAP Post-2020 debate and to go into more detail about specific elements of the reform as they relate to the protection and enhancement of agricultural soils in Europe.
The webinar can be expected to include:
1) the key elements that make up the CAP reform debate i.e. Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 entry level and advanced agri-environment-climate schemes (AECS), prerequisites for basic subsidies as well as the uptake of AECS including Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC) requirements
2) the most important policy elements relating to soil protection within the CAP
3) the likely future changes compared to status quo as well as next steps in CAP’s evolution
Assessment of promising agricultural management practices
A new article published has been published in "Science of The Total Environment" entitled: "Assessment of promising agricultural management practices". The article is about best Agriculture Management Practices (AMPs) and is part of the iSQAPER project. As stated in the abstract, the study focussed on specific aims:
1) map the current distribution of previously selected 18 promising AMPs in several pedo-climatic regions and farming systems located in ten and four study site areas (SSA) along Europe and China, respectively; and
2) identify the soil threats occurring in those areas. In each SSA, farmers using promising AMP's were identified and questionnaires were used to assess farmer's perception on soil threats significance in the area.
The article is open access and the authors are: Lúcia Barão, Abdallah Alaoui, Carla Ferreira, Gottlieb Basch, Gudrun Schwilch, Violette Geissen, Wijnand Sukkel, Julie Lemesle, Fuensanta Garcia-Orenes, Alicia Morugán-Coronado, Jorge Mataix-Solera, Costas Kosmas, Matjaž Glavan, Marina Pintar, Brigitta Tóth, Tamás Hermann, Olga Petruta Vizitiu, Jerzy Lipiec, Endla Reintam, Minggang Xu, Jiaying Di, Hongzhu Fan, Fei Wang
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.
Effects of agricultural management practices on soil quality: A review of long-term experiments for Europe and China
The title above comes from a new article published in "Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment". The article is a review and describes the effects four paired management practices on five soil quality indicators. Some highlights of this research : 1) yield was lower under No Tillage (NT) and organic agriculture, but with environmental benefits, 2) Soil Organic Matter (SOM) increased under NT, organic matter addition, crop rotation and organic farming, 3) number of earthworms was the most sensitive indicator for the paired practices, and 4) soil pH appears to be the least sensitive indicator.
The article is open access and the authors are: Zhanguo Bai, Thomas Caspari, Maria Ruiperez Gonzalez, Niels H. Batjes, Paul Mäder, Else K. Bünemann, Ron de Goede, Lijbert Brussaard, Minggang Xu, and Carla Sofia Santos Ferreira
4th plenary iSQAPER meeting
The 4th plenary iSQAPER meeting will be held from Tuesday 12 June – Friday 15 June, 2018 in Tartu, Estonia. The meeting will be held at the campus of the Estonian University of Life Sciences located at Kreutzwaldi str. 5, Tartu, Estonia. The meeting includes a one day field trip to the experimental field plots of the University. Endla Reintam will act as our host. document Travel information (421 KB) is available for download. Participants can register for this meeting after logging in to the website.