During the stakeholder workshops at the 16 SoilCare study sites, stakeholders successfully evaluated a range of soil-improving cropping systems, and reached a short-list of interventions for field trials. Details concerning these trials are presented in the following table:

Country General Treatment Category Study Site Trials
Belgium   Tillage, cover crops, amendments  

1. Organic soil amendments in wheat fields - mineral fertilization, soil pig manure, VFG compost, wood chips and pig manure + lava grit

2. Soil cultivation and soil cover in maize - strip till in living rye cover crop; Strip till in destroyed rye cover crop; Undersowing grass; Non inversion tillage; Control- normal ploughing

3. Demonstration fields - Novel crops- perennial wheat, soybeans, winter field beans, lupins (control: winter wheat); Controlled traffic

Norway   Cover crops

1. Biological compaction release (4 levels of compaction) - Cover crop with deep root crops (3 types of crops); No cover crops

2. Cover crop - Catch crop - Undersown of Mix 1: Chicory, perennial ryegrass and alfalfa; Undersown of Mix 2: White clover, “Birdsfoot trefoil” and crimson clover; Sown after harvest Mix 3: Forage radish and ww. Ryegrass; Sown after harvest Mix 4: vetch, hairy vetch and pisum; No cover crop (Barley)

3. Precision agriculture (demonstration)

 Hungary Crop rotations, tillage, fertilization

1. Organic/inorganic N fertilization

2. Mineral fertilization in continuous maize cropping

3. Organic/inorganic fertilization in different rotation

4. Tillage in maize-wheat biculture

Switzerland   Crop rotations, fertilization, controlled traffic

1. HSE-grass verge & artificial meadow & control traffic - Area with no grass verge but artificial meadow; Area with grass verge and artificial meadow

2. UDE-Manuring/ CULTAN procedure (specific machinery for direct application of fertilization directly to the roots) - Cultan procedure with two ways of sampling; Green manure and liquid manure with drag house

3. USE-Green and liquid manuring - Phacelia as green manuring and liquid manure; Phacelia & clover as green manuring and liquid manure; Fallow (if needed with Glyphosate usage) – with special permission

Denmark  Crop rotations, tillage, fertilization

1. CROPSYS crop rotations, organic and conventional/row cropping with catch crops - Rotation (O2,O4,C4),O2 organic (S. barley: ley, Grass‑clover, spring wheat, spring oats), O4 organic (S. barley, Faba bean, Spring wheat, Spring oats), C4 conventional (S. barley, Faba bean, Spring wheat, Spring oats). +/- catch crop, +/- manure

2. CENTS / soil tillage intensities and cover crops (maybe) - Ploughed/harrowed/direct drilled, crop type, catch crop type, +/- straw

3. Screening different types of catch crops (maybe) - Different species of cover crops. This year also including mixtures of different species

4. Askov and Samsø / as demonstrated during the 2018 annual meeting excursion (demonstration)

5. Askov and Jyndevad / experiments with different levels of fertilization and liming (LT)

United Kingdom
Crop rotations, tillage, fertilization

1.Compaction experiments - Control – no till; Ploughing; Low disturbance sub soiling; Low disturbance sub soiling

2. Introducing grass leys in rotation - 5 different deep rooting grasses; Mixture of ryegrass and clover (control)

3. Digestate from sewage - Digestate ploughing

Germany Tillage, cover crops

1. Effect of cover crop termination with Glyphosate on soil microorganisms - Glyphosate with cover crop; Glyphosate free with cover crop; Control 1: Glyphosate free + hand weeding; Control 2: Glyphosate only

Romania Tillage

1. Tillage experiments - Deep ploughing (30cm); Subsoiling (50 cm); Non inversion till; 2 disk ploughing

Italy Tillage, cover crops

1. Loss of SOM and Compaction control - Mouldboard plough and bare soil; Mouldboard plough and deep rooting cover crop (tillage radish); No tillage and bare soil; No tillage and deep rooting cover crop (tillage radish)

Poland Cover crops, liming

1. Soil management practices - Control- mineral fertilization; Liming (CaCO3 5,6 t/ha); Cover crops ( Lupines +Serradella + Phacellia, respectively: 130 + 30 + 4 kg/ha ); Manure (30t/ha); Liming (CaCO3 5,6 t/ha) + Lupines + Serradella + Phacellia (130 + 30 + 4 kg/ha) + manure (10 t/ha)

Portugal Crop rotations, cover crops, fertilization

1. Bico da Barca - Organic rice in rotation with perennial lucerne - Conventional rice monoculture (Control); Organic rice in rotation with perennial Lucerne (2 years of rice + 2 years of Lucerne)

2. Taveiro – Conventional grain corn in succession with legumes winter cover - Conventional grain corn with Red Clover as cover crop in winter; Conventional grain corn with Persian clover as cover crop in winter; Conventional grain corn with yellow lupine as cover crop in winter; Conventional grain corn with white lupine as cover crop in winter; Conventional grain corn with no cover crop in winter (fallow- control)

3. São Silvestre - Conventional grain corn fertilized by urban sludge - Grain corn receiving urban sludge fertilization; Grain corn receiving conventional mineral fertilization (control)

Greece Cover crops, tillage, crop change

1. Soil erosion rate assessment - No till in organic olive orchards; Conventional till (15-20 cm) in organic olive orchards; Conversion from orange orchard to avocado; Conventional orange orchard; Cover crop (vetch) in organic vineyards; Bare soil in organic vineyards

Sweden Sub soil loosening, tillage

1. Sub soil loosening - Sub soiling loosening; Sub soiling loosening with straw pellets; Normal mouldboard ploughing - control

Czech Republic Tillage, fertilization

1. Tillage experiments and different N application - No till (all residues on surface); Reduced till (chisel ploughing up to 10cm-min 30% residues on soil surface); Conventional till (mouldboard ploughing up to 22 cm

Spain Cover crops, tillage, irrigation management

1. Desertification, wind erosion and organic matter decline - Regulated vs Constant Deficit Irrigation and Minimum tillage in olive orchards; Regulated vs Constant Deficit Irrigation and Minimum tillage plus pruning residues added in olive orchards; Regulated vs Constant Deficit Irrigation and Minimum Tillage plus temporal cover crops (natural weeds and sowed) in olive orchards; Regulated vs standard irrigation and non-tillage (herbicide weed control) in peach orchards; Regulated vs standard irrigation and Non-tillage plus pruning residues added and temporal natural vegetation in peach orchards; Regulated vs standard irrigation and Non-tillage plus pruning residues and temporal cover crops sowed in peach orchards

France Cover crops, sowing management, tillage

1. Early sowing of wheat (August vs September vs end of October) (2 or 3 treatments) - Cover crops (oat vs mixed) (2 treatments); Soil tillage and soil cover (3 treatments)

Soil-Improving Cropping Systems selected for testing in Study Sites


 Study site  Short-listed SICS Comments
 Belgium  1.Application of different types of organic fertilizers: wood chips, cut and carry fertilizers, bokashi, compared to compost and solid manure.
2.Maize: undersown with grass, strip-till in existing grassland, ordinary strip till compared to conventional tillage.
3.Precision farming: site-specific application of compost and or wood chips; field scan (pH, OM content) before and after the trial, yield mapping.
4.Controlled traffic: implemented in at least one field, measurements of soil characteristics, crop growth and yield in and outside the roadways.
5.Novel crops: perennial cereals (if seeds are available) and soya, in at least one field, measurement of soil and crop characteristics and yield potential (in comparison with traditional crops).
Scientific trials (with layout of treatments and replications, execution of measurements and observations)
 Norway  1. Precision agriculture
2. Biological compaction release
3. Cover crops
Demonstration trials (with execution of measurements and observations)
 Hungary  1. Leguminous crops
2. Farmyard manure
3. Crop rotation
 Switzerland  No single system chosen, but likely to be controlled traffic (comparison of a plot where limiting compression by weight is applied, with plot without limiting compression), green manure or the Controlled Uptake Long Term Ammonium Nutrition
Measures will need to be looked at in suitable combinations and will depend on location of field trials chosen, experimental set up and monitoring

 1.Ploughing contra no ploughing systems



2.Row (Alley) cropping systems



3.Crop rotations with and without grass / Clover (with grass varying amounts of grass and other crops); technologies for row/alley cropping "micro- rotations"

4.Liming experiments (long term effects of dose


5.Long term effects of manure and fertilizer practices


6. Lap and trial

Less ploughing is also demonstrated in the row cropping experiment at Samsø (with Gunnar Mikkelsen), where strips of green manure clover grass is not ploughed.

Tested/demonstrated at the farm of Anders Lund where the cereals are sown in rows, and at Samsø (with Gunnar Mikkelsen), where strips of green manure clover grass is not ploughed. Moreover we have row cropping experiments at the AU Field Station in Foulum.




As at the long term experiments at St. Jyndevad

As in the long term experiments at Askov. Moreover the fields with Gunnar Mikkelsen/ Samsø is fertilized with compost recycled from urban areas)

The whole island of Samsø as a full scale demonstration lap and trial, via scenarios and impacts assessments of possible soilcaring transitions of the farming in the island


 1. Amendments

 2. Compaction

3. Grass leys


 1. Cover crops

2. Conservation tillage

3. Either undersown cover crops or Glyphosate-free conservation agriculture


1. Narrow rotation + legumes; balanced mineral fertilization; sprinkler irrigation; deep ploughing; weeds and pests control

2. Narrow rotation + legumes; balanced mineral
fertilization; amendments; minimum tillage; weeds and pests control

3. Narrow rotation + root crops; balanced mineral fertilization; sprinkler irrigation; deep ploughing; weeds and pests control

4. Narrow rotation + root crops; balanced mineral fertilization; organic fertilization; deep ploughing; weeds and pests control


1. Crop rotation

2. Green manures, cover crops, catch crops

3. Integrated nutrient management


1. Soil improving crops: cover crops - legumes: lupines + serradella + phacelia (130+30+4 kg/ha)
2. Amendments: A: Manure 30 t/ha, oat, wheat, triticale

3. Amendments: B: Liming CaCO3 5.6 t/ha S/R, oat, wheat, triticale.


1. New rotation systems
- Rice/lucerne 4 year rotation
- Maize rotation with 3 crop types over 4 years

2. Organic fertilization using urban sludge

3. Reduced soil mobilization (vertical tillage, multi- task planting, controlled traffic)

Greece 1. Terracing
2. Contour ridging
3. No tillage or minimum tillage

1.Sub-soil loosening plus straw incorporation compared to loosening with liming

2. Introduction of cover crops (such as bluebell (Sw. honungsört = Phacelia spp.), melilot (Melilotus officinalis = Sw. sötväppling) or a mixture of cover crop species)

Spain 1. Cover crops
2. Increasing organic matter by chopping pruning wood
3. Implementation of deficit irrigation strategies on
stone fruit trees and olive

1. Grassland management including: aération, Vibrosem or grassland fissuring and grass seed mixtures
2. Reduced cultivation
3.Nitrate-trap crops
- Early crops sowing, in order to generate a bigger tillering and to profit of a maximum of nitrogen, with frost-susceptible cover crops (e.g. buckwheat, Egyptian clover) to limit weeds and diseases

- Cover-crop sowed under rapeseed


Czech Republic

1. Application of limy materials


2. Applications of manures, composts, crop residues, and the other sources of organic matter


3. Reduced/non-reduced soil cultivation

Increasing of soil buffering capacity (experimental results of long-term experiments)

Increasing of acid-neutralizing capacity of the soil and improving of SOM content (long-term field experiments with application of different kind and application doses
of organic fertilisers)

Study of impacts of different cultivation technologies (with/without ploughing, minimum tillage) on soil quality, fertility, as water flows, microorganisms, texture and structure

Denmark StakeholderMeeting2

Today, Tuesday,  May 29th 2018, the 3rd plenary meeting of the SoilCare project has started. The SoilCare resarchers were welcomed by AgroIntelli director Ole Green and Tommy Dalgaard, teamleader of the Aarhus University SoilCare team, the two SoilCare partners who are hosting this meeting.

Welcome speeches of the AgroIntelli and Aarhus University hosts and SoilCare project leader Rudi Hessel were given, followed by an overview of recent developments in soil science, given bij Oene Oenema.

Today also an introduction of Advisory Board member Hein ten Berge was given, who is joining this plenary meeting as an external expert and who will give a first-impression-feedback on his findings on Wednesday. The rest of the day is reserved for various WP presentations.

Friday, an excursion has been organised to the Askov Research Centre (Aarhus University) to see the 120 years long-term experiment. Below an impression of the ongoing meeting.