How to characterize 'good' and 'greening' in the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP): The case of clay soils in the Netherlands

J. Bouma*, Henk Wosten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The change in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union from product to producer support, including requirements for 'good agricultural and environmental conditions' and 'greening', is excellent. However, these requirements are now defined in rather general terms. Questions can be raised about suitable indicators, and there is a recognized need for effective management recommendations to support farmers in achieving the required 'good' conditions. These recommendations are bound to be quite different for different soils in different countries. A study of Dutch clay soils was based on a storyline describing current problems and management options for improvement, which were quantified using a soil-water-crop simulation model. Indicators were defined for agricultural conditions and suggestions made for the use of the model in a predictive mode to help farmers improve their soil management. Environmental conditions were judged by current environmental guidelines for water and air. When modelling, implicit assumptions that soils are homogeneous were shown to be unrealistic for these clay soils, requiring development of innovative methods and procedures, presenting a challenge for soil research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-552
JournalSoil Use and Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Bypass flow
  • Internal catchment
  • Macropores
  • Modelling
  • Tile drainage
  • Trafficability


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