Future agriculture urgently needs to encompass the recovery of soils affected by pollution, degraded by drought, erosion, salinity, inadequate management or otherwise low productivity. A holistic view on the topic is needed for the full potential of soils to be realized.
Improving soils for agricultural purposes requires
a) identification of crucial soil components and processes, both biotic and abiotic,
b) assessment of plant species that sustainably produce high and safe biomass on marginal and/or contaminated soils and of plant-growth promoting microorganisms,
c) selecting the optimum composition of organic amendments such as compost, biochar and digestate from biogas production,
d) using plants and their associated microorganisms to absorb or degrade pollutants,
e) demonstrating potential of the soil for providing ecosystem services and for contributing to the circular economy in agricultural contexts.
Involvement of citizens and stakeholders, including farms and farm-associated enterprises, is an integrated part of the solutions facilitating the implementation of sustainable and financially attractive production alternatives. The holistic approach will encourage the implementation of production chains for sustainable intensification, which are adapted to environmental and socio-economic diversity within Europe. Our FACCE SURPLUS JPI project “Intensify production, transform biomass to energy and novel goods and protect soils in Europe; INTENSE” has addressed these topics. Our approach is to intensify agriculture within a sustainable framework, one essential part of this transformation. Obviously, the keys for intensification is the status of agricultural soils and sound supply with water, structure forming materials and nutrients. Since soils, the fundamental medium for food production, are threatened in many ways, the main question we want to answer are:
1) How can we preserve good soils?
2) How can we recuperate degraded soils and soils with natural low production potentials?
3) How can we preserve and develop the plethora of ecosystem goods and services of soils?
In the EUBCE we present the key results, based on experimental evidence and analysis of options to intensify food and biomass production by means of sustainable management tools.
- The FACCE SURPLUS INTENSE project. Aims and status.
- New weed management approaches by targeted and innovative chaff handling methods
- Potential use of marginal soils in the Mediterranean region for a sustainable and circular bioeconomy
- Effects of NP-ratio in biogas digestate of pig manure as soil amendment on yield and performance on main crop Lolium perenne and after growth of Trifolium pratens
- Different aspects of sustainable field management, the effect of organic amendments on field trials and greenhouses experiments – One step forward to close the circles of bioeconomy
- Biochar: a sustainable solution for biomass valorisation in the circular economy
- Biochar potential as soil improver assessed through structural and functional features
- A vision for sustainable increase of crop production through improved technical strategies, breeding and adapted management
- Discussion and end of INTENSE seminar