Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra). Netherlands

Newcastle University. United Kingdom

KU Leuven. Belgium

University of Gloucestershire. United Kingdom

University Hohenheim. Germany

Research Institute for Knowledge Systems. Netherlands

Technical University of Crete. Greece

Joint Research Centre. Italy

University of Bern. Switzerland

Milieu LTD. Belgium

Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research. Norway

Bodemkundige Dienst van België. Belgium

Aarhus University. Denmark

Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust. United Kingdom

Teagasc. Ireland

Soil Cares Research Netherlands

Escola Superior Agrária de Coimbra. Portugal

Institutul National de Cercetare-Dezvoltare pentru Pedologie, Agrochimie si Protectia Mediului. Romania

University of Padova. Italy

Institute of Agrophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Poland

Wageningen University. Netherlands

University of Pannonia. Hungary

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Sweden

Agro Intelligence Aps. Denmark

Crop Research Institute. Czech Republic

University of Almeria. Spain

Fédération Régionale des Agrobiologistes de Bretagne. France

Scienceview Media BV. Netherlands




Investimento Elegível: 7.628.403,00 €

Apoio da União Europeia:Incentivo Não Reembolsável (85,5%):  6.999.993,00 €

Investimento elegível IPC: 190.835,00 €


European crop production is to remain competitive while reducing environmental impacts, requiring development and uptake of effective soil-improving cropping systems. The overall aim of SOILCARE is to identify and evaluate promising soil improving cropping systems and agronomic techniques increasing profitability and sustainability across scales in Europe. A trans-disciplinary approach will be used to evaluate benefits and drawbacks of a new generation of soil improving cropping systems, incorporating all relevant bio-physical, socio-economic and political aspects.Existing information from literature and long term experiments will be analysed to develop a comprehensive methodology for assessing performance of cropping systems at multiple levels. A multi-actor approach will be used to select promising soil -improving cropping systems for scientific evaluation in 16 study sites across Europe covering different pedo-climatic and socio-economic conditions. Implemented cropping systems will be monitored with stakeholder involvement, and will be assessed jointly with scientists. Specific attention will be paid to adoption of soil -improving cropping systems and agronomic techniques within and beyond the study sites.Results from study sites will be up-scaled to the European level to draw general lessons about applicability potentials of soil -improving cropping systems and related profitability and sustainability impacts, including assessing barriers for adoption at that scale. An interactive tool will be developed for end-users to identify and prioritize suitable soil -improving cropping systems anywhere in Europe.Current policies and incentives will be assessed and targeted policy recommendations will be provided. SOILCARE will take an active dissemination approach to achieve impact from local to European level, addressing multiple audiences, to enhance crop production in Europe to remain competitive and sustainable through dedicated soil care

Project Objectives

In the project plan, a number of project objectives have been formulated:

To review which  cropping system (CS) can be considered soil-improving, to identify current benefits and drawbacks, and to assess current and potential impact on soil quality and environment.

To select and trial soil-improving CS in 16 Study Sites across Europe, representing various pedo-climatic zones and socio-economic conditions following a multi-actor approach.

To develop and apply an integrated and comprehensive methodology to assess benefits, drawbacks and limitations, profitability and sustainability of soil-improving CS in the Study Sites, taking into account pedo-climatic, socio-economic and legislative conditions.

To study barriers for adoption and to analyse how farmers can be encouraged through appropriate incentives to adopt suitable soil-improving CS.

To develop and apply a method to upscale Study Site results to European level, taking into account different pedo-climatic and socio-economic conditions in different parts of Europe, to come up with Europe-wide information on which soil-improving CS would be most beneficial where in Europe.

To develop an interactive tool for selection of soil-improving CS throughout Europe.

To analyse the effect of agricultural and environmental policies on adoption of CS, and to support these policies in order to improve adoption.

To disseminate key-information about soil-improving CS including agronomic techniques to all stakeholders.

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