Since the application of pesticides and artificial fertilizers the appreciation for the soil as the foundation for agricultural production diminished. Recently attention is paid to the possible negative influences of these aspects on the microbial population in the soil. The withdrawal of most soil fumigants for disinfestation and more intensive use of soils enhances the focus on soil aspects like root disease incidence, soil resistance, soil and plant health. Research is started to develop strategies to establish and control soil health.
To develop new methods to increase soil health and to measure changes in soil health in an early stage a long-term field experiment started in 2006. Methods under investigation are: crop frequency, crop rotation, use of resistant varieties of economic and green manure crops, anaerobic biological soil disinfestation, the application of compost or chitine. Additionally chemical pesticides may be applied. The effect of these measurements will be monitored via crop performance, disease incidence and assessment of the microbial population in the soil.
So far strategies and treatments had long term effects on soil health; suppression of soil pathogens and increase of crop yield and quality. Together with different participants (research companies) a unique data base is build containing data on chemical, physical and micro biological soil parameters.
Statistical analysis of all these data will give important information on 1)the effects of the different treatments within organic and conventional cropping systems and 2) relationship between chemical, physical and micro biological soil parameters. This knowledge will contribute to the development of measurements to improve and methods to measure soil health.
|Effective start/end date||1/01/12 → 31/12/14|