Main authors: Abdallah Alaoui, Gudrun Schwilch
iSQAPERiS editor: Jane Brandt
Source document: Alaoui, A., Schwilch, G. (2019) Database of currently applied and promising agricultural management practices. iSQAPER Project Deliverable 5.3, 14 pp

 

The impact of promising agricultural management practices (AMPs) on soil quality was assessed using a Visual Soil Assessment (VSA) tool (e.g. Shepherd, 2000) in a total of 138 pairs of plots/farms spread across 14 study site areas, with10 located in Europe and 4 in China. The full description of the study site areas, the establishment of promising AMPs as well as the criteria used to select these 138 pair of farms/plots within each study site is provided in »Identification of experimental sites in which to measure impact of AMPs and Barão et al. (2019).

Each pair includes a farm/plot where a new, promising AMP has been used for at least the last 3 years (plot-AMP) and a farm/plot where the corresponding conventional practice has been used for the last 3 years (plot-control).

The 138 pair of farms/plots include a myriad of promising AMPs and combinations in use by farmers and represent the promising management choices undertaken locally. The majority of the evaluated pairs of plots/farms were on arable land with fewer pairs addressing management practices in pasture and permanent farming systems (Table 2).

The results (Table 2) show that of the 138 sets of paired plots,

  • 104 pairs (combined 75.4%, Europe 73.2%, China 84.6%) show that the AMPs had a positive impact on soil quality,
  • 20 pairs (combined 14.5%, Europe 17%, China 3.8%) show difference in soil quality,
  • and the remaining 14 plots (combined 10.1%, Europe 9.8%, China 11.5%) show a negative effect.

Further details of the results are given in »Effect of management practices on soil quality in case study sites.

Table 2. Tested AMPs at case study sites

Promising AMP tested  Farming System Total plots/farms 
Arable Pasture Permanent
No-till 4   6 10
Min-till 8   2 10
Permanent soil cover / Removing less vegetation cover   3   3
Cover crops 3   1 4
Residue maintenance / Mulching 7   1 8
Cross-slope measure 1   2 3
Measures against compaction 2      2
Leguminous crop  5      5
Green manure / Integrated soil fertility management 2     2
Manuring & composting 12     12
Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition 12   1 13
Integrated pest and disease management incl. organic agriculture 3   4 7
Water diversion and drainage     1 1
Irrigation management 4     4
Major change in timing of activities 1     1
Area closure / rotational grazing   3   3
Change of land use practices / intensity level 2 8   10
Total single promising AMP tested 66 14 18 98
Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; Integrated pest and disease management incl. organic agriculture 1     1
Integrated pest and disease management incl. organic agriculture; Major change in timing of activities 1     1
Leguminous crop; Residue maintenance / Mulching     1 1
Manuring & composting; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition 1     1
Manuring & composting; Integrated pest and disease management incl. organic agriculture     1 1
Manuring & composting; Change of land use practices / intensity level   1   1
Manuring & composting; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition 1     1
Manuring & composting; Cross-slope measure     1 1
Manuring & composting; Integrated pest and disease management incl. organic agriculture 1     1
Min-till ; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition 1     1
Min-till; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition 1     1
Min-till; Irrigation management     1 1
Min-till; Manuring & composting 1   2 3
Min-till; Residue maintenance / Mulching 1     1
No-till ; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition 1     1
No-till; Residue maintenance / Mulching 1     1
Permanent soil cover / Removing less vegetation cover; Leguminous crop     1 1
Permanent soil cover / Removing less vegetation cover; Manuring & composting 1 2   3
Residue maintenance / Mulching; Irrigation management 1     1
Total combination of 2 promising AMP tested 13 3 7 23
Green manure / Integrated soil fertility management; Integrated pest and disease management incl. organic agriculture; Irrigation Management 1     1
Manuring & composting; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; Irrigation management 1     1
Min-till; Cover crops; Green manure / Integrated soil fertility management     1 1
Min-till; Manuring & composting; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition 1     1
Min-till; Permanent soil cover / Removing less vegetation cover; Manuring & composting     1 1
Permanent soil cover / Removing less vegetation cover; Manuring & composting; Residue maintenance / Mulching     1 1
Total combination of 3 promising AMP tested 3 0 3 6
Manuring & composting; Residue maintenance / Mulching; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; measures against compaction 1     1
Min-till; Cover crops; Green manure / Integrated soil fertility management; Integrated pest and disease management incl. organic agriculture     1 1
Min-till; Residue maintenance / Mulching; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; Measures against compaction 1     1
Total combination of 4 promising AMP tested 3 0 1 3
Cover crops; Green manure / Integrated soil fertility management; Residue maintenance / Mulching; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; Measures against compaction 1     1
Min-till; Leguminous crops; Residue maintenance / Mulching; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; Measures against compaction 1     1
Min-till; Manuring & composting; Residue maintenance / Mulching; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; Measures against compaction 1      
Total combination of 5 promising AMP tested 3 0 0 3
Min-till; Manuring & composting; Residue maintenance / Mulching; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; Cross-slope measure; Measures against compaction 1     1
Min-till; Manuring & composting; Residue maintenance / Mulching; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; measures against compaction; Measures against compaction 1     1
Total combination of 6 promising AMP tested 2 0 0 2
Min-till; Leguminous crops; Manuring & composting; Residue maintenance / Mulching; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; Measures against compaction; Water diversion and drainage 1     1
Min-till; Permanent soil cover / Removing less vegetation cover; Leguminous crops; Manuring & composting; Residue maintenance / Mulching; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; Measures against compaction 2     2
Total combination of 7 promising AMP tested 3 0 0 3


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