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Jane Mills - Soil Management Practices
 

Jane Mills - Soil Management Practices

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Details practices to improve crop productivity and soil carbon storage and the associated socio-economic barriers and opportunities. Delivered at the SRUC 2013 Conference #SRUCSustain in Edinburgh ...

Details practices to improve crop productivity and soil carbon storage and the associated socio-economic barriers and opportunities. Delivered at the SRUC 2013 Conference #SRUCSustain in Edinburgh which focussed on 'Sustainable Intensification' in farming.

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  • Returns and inputs of carbon to soils pose a threat to soil functions. They also threaten the resilience of farming systems. At the same time soils provide a range of regulating and supporting functions related to climate change and the removal of greenhouse gases. The majority of these functions are closely linked to the stocks and flows of soil organic carbon.
  • Aims to contribute to reversing the current degradation trend of European agricultural soils by improving soil carbon management in European arable and mixed farming systems covering intensive to low-input and organic farming systems
  • The project – 4 years, 12 partners in 9 countries, 2 of which are socio-economic experts.6 cases study regions: Tuscany, Andalucia, Eastern Scotland, MasowieckiePoland, Közép-MagyarországHungary, SjællandDenmark
  • Partners consulted case study and national stakeholders included.

Jane Mills - Soil Management Practices Jane Mills - Soil Management Practices Presentation Transcript

  • Soil management practices to deliver crop productivity and soil carbon storage: understanding socio-economic barriers and opportunities Jane Mills, Julie Ingram, Ana Frelih-Larsen, McKenna Davis Edinburgh 25-27th September 2013
  • Management Carbon flows Carbon stocks Carbon storage Soil functions Farming systems resilience Regulating functions Supporting functions Why Soil Carbon?
  • Soil Carbon Management Practices • Catch crops • Crop rotations • Residue management • Reduced tillage operations • Fertiliser and manure management
  • Two overall aims: • To identify farming systems and agronomic practices that result in an optimized balance between crop productivity and soil carbon sequestration. • To develop and deliver a decision support tool (DST) and guidelines to support novel approaches to different European soils and categories of beneficiaries (farmers, farm advisory and extension services, and policy makers).
  • Scotland, Denmark, Poland, Hungary, Italy, Spain Case study regions
  • WP1 Linking soil carbon & crop productivity WP2 Soil management systems in Europe WP4 DST & Guidelines WP3 Economic appraisal of soil management options Improving knowledge LTEs & new experiments WP5 Stakeholder involvement & dissemination Applying knowledge Case studies
  • 7 WP1 Linking soil carbon & crop productivity WP2 Soil management systems in Europe WP4 DST & Guidelines WP3 Economic appraisal of soil management options Improving knowledge LTEs & new experiments WP5 Stakeholder involvement & dissemination Applying knowledge Case studies
  • Consultation with the farming community Aims: To consult experts both nationally and in the case study regions about two main issues: 1. the current promotion, implementation and barriers to uptake of soil management practices with particular emphasis on soil carbon management, and 2. their experience and requirements of DSTs, with particular emphasis on those supporting soil carbon management.
  • Method: interviews • First stakeholder consultation • 60 advisers, policy makers (decision makers) & research practitioners interviewed across study regions • Respondents selected based on expertise and experience in relation to the soil and crop management. • Interview schedules developed using expert knowledge, a literature review and partner consultation
  • Findings: Promotion and awareness of soil carbon management practices • Little evidence of specific government policies • Usually advice integrated as part of other programmes, e.g cross-compliance • Soil carbon management relatively new issue so awareness generally limited - growing in Denmark and Scotland but remains low in Poland • Variation in the extent of awareness within countries - reflects farmer age and farming and educational background
  • Findings: Barriers to promotion and uptake of soil carbon management practices • Perceived scientific uncertainty about soil carbon management. • Difficulty demonstrating soil carbon management practices, effects and economic benefits over a long time. • Farmers’ perceptions, priorities, knowledge and lack of familiarity of soil carbon management practices. • Perceived requirement to invest in new technology
  • Findings: Incentives for soil carbon management practices • Financial incentives • Evidence of benefits – impact on productivity and profitability • Real life case study examples • Messages - use simple language and quantify impact • Integrating advice into existing advice programmes, policies and regulations
  • Conclusions Perspectives from the farming community helping to develop practices that can optimise productivity and soil carbon storage - further consultation activities planned Also helping to shape the decision support tool, guidelines and policy recommendations being developed in the project Credibility - scientific plausibility of the technical evidence and arguments Salience - relevant to needs of decision makers Legitimacy - respectful of stakeholders’ divergent values and beliefs and unbiased
  • www.smartsoil.eu www.catch-c.eu Thank you!