Agricultural management practices in the iSQAPER study sites
|Main authors:||Abdallah Alaoui, Ursula Gämperli Krauer, Tatenda Lemann, Vincent Roth, Gudrun Schwilch & iSQAPER Case Study Site teams|
|iSQAPERiS editor:||Jane Brandt|
|Source documents:||Alaoui, A., Gämperli Krauer, U., Lemann, T., Roth, V., Schwilch, G. & iSQAPER Case Study Site teams (2018) Soil quality inventory of case study sites. iSQAPER Project Deliverable 5.2, 23 pp
Alaoui, A., Schwilch, G. (2019) Database of currently applied and promising agricultural management practices. iSQAPER Project Deliverable 5.3, 14 pp
In this section of iSQAPERiS we look at the impact promising agricultural managment practices (AMPs) have on soil quality in the case study sites.
»Agricultural management practices that enhance soil quality
On the basis of a literature review and in consultation with local stakeholders, 18 promising agricultural management practices (AMPs) were selected and their impacts on soil quality were evaluated through a Visual Soil Assessment methodology at 14 study sites across Europe and China, covering the major pedo-climatic zones.
»Assessing effect of management practices on soil quality - experimental framework
Of the 138 sets of paired control and AMP plots, the AMPs showed a positive impact on soil quality in 75.4% of cases, 14.5% showed no difference and the remaining 10.1% showed a negative effect on soil quality.
In Europe, the most promising AMPs that have been shown to positively impact soil quality are
- crop rotation / control or change of species composition,
- manure and composting,
- minimum tillage
- (to a certain extent) no-till.
For China, the most promising AMPs having positively impacted soil quality are
- residue maintenance/mulching,
- manure and composting,
- integrated pest and disease management,
- green manure/integrated soil fertility,
- irrigation management.
Of the 11 variables selected to evaluate soil quality, the ones describing soil structure (porosity, structure and consistency, aggregate stability) were shown to be the most sensitive to soil quality. The variables selected by the farmers for the evaluation of soil quality are also related to soil structure and confirm the consistency of researchers’ choice.
Ten different AMPs have been documented using »WOCAT database. In general, the documented technologies have mainly positive socio-economic, socio-cultural, and ecological impacts with a few exceptions. Most negative impacts are observed in “workload”, “expenses”, and “crop production” and mainly related to the AMP Nr. 12 “integrated pest and disease management incl. organic agriculture”.
The few off-site impacts reported by the study site teams were negligible or positive with regard to socio-economic, socio-cultural and ecological dimensions.
»Assessing effect of management practices on soil quality - experimental results