Moving towards sustainable soil management
Stricter legislation on manure and nutrient management, decreased soil fertility, water eutrophication... In trying to solve agricultural problems we often end up looking at soils. Not only at their chemical composition, but also at soil structure and soil life. Learning how to manage soils sustainably is the next step, attractively presented in our movie Balanced Sustainable Soil Management (in Dutch).
Integrated approachFrom our point of view sustainable soil management means an integrated approach to soil quality. It means moving beyond chemical analysis. Taking into account rooting patterns, soil structure, microbes and fauna, and their interrelationships. Because soil fertility is the basis of sustainable agriculture and environmental quality. Drawing on our broad expertise, and working directly with farmers, we are able to find solutions that work for farmers and policy makers alike.
Optimising nutrient use efficiencyTo optimise nutrient use efficiency and nutrient cycling requires in-depth knowledge of complex soil systems. The Louis Bolk Institute provides just that. We have developed a nitrogen cycling model (NDICEA) that calculates exactly how much fertilizer should be added to a crop. Moving beyond standard nitrogen budgets, the model accounts for nitrogen mineralization from manure, organic fertilizers, crop residues, green mulches and soil organic matter.
Soil quality is of common interestWe are convinced that soil quality is the shared interest of farmers, provincial governments, food industries, policy makers, district water boards, and nature conservation organisations. This is our strength: We put farmers and soil management first, and come up with solutions that work for all stakeholders. We find ways to not only increase soil fertility (and crop yield), but also to reduce nutrient leaching and improve water storage capacity - in the short and long term.
Partner Save Our Soils
We are partner in the international campaign Save Our Soils, launched in december 2012.
Clients and cases Tobias Bandel, Soil and More about the Louis Bolk Institute