Work Package 5
WP5 will link applied agricultural management practices to the soil quality status in the Case Study Sites and select innovative practices together with stakeholders. Associating changes in soil quality with agricultural management practices is a challenge due to slow responsiveness of soil characteristics, and can therefore only be approximated by comparing different management practices applied under identical pedo-climatic conditions. The generation of a soil quality inventory at the Case Study Site level will provide the framework to test the alpha-release version of SQAPP. The testing will be undertaken collaboratively using a multi-actor approach including farmers, agricultural advisors, local staff of government and research institutions and soil specialists. With the help of these actors, currently applied and promising agricultural management practices will be identified, documented and assessed holistically (i.e. regarding their economic, ecological and socio-cultural impact). This assessment will in turn provide the criteria to select innovative practices, or the basis to develop new ideas for management improvements respectively. The WP follows a trans-disciplinary as well as interdisciplinary approach in order to include the broadest expertise and perception of soil quality and agricultural management practices as possible, and to make sure SQAPP will be truly relevant for application in practice.
The activities in this WP are to: i) apply and test the soil quality assessment tool with a variety of actors; ii) make an inventory of soil quality status and applied soil management practices in case study areas; and iii) select innovative agricultural management practices improving soil quality.
Deliverables will include i) a report on stakeholder feedback to the soil quality assessment app (TRL5); ii) a soil quality inventory of Case Study Sites; and iii) a database of currently applied and promising agricultural management practices (TRL5).