Soil-Improving Cropping Systems for Sustainable and Profitable Farming in Europe

Hessel, Rudi; Wyseure, Guido; Panagea, Ioanna; Alaoui, Abdallah; Reed, Mark; van Delden, Hedwig; Muro, Melanie; Mills, Jane; Oenema, Oene; Areal, Francisco; van den Elsen, Erik; Verzandvoort, Simone; Assinck, Falentijn; Elsen, Annemie; Lipiec, Jerzy; Koutroulis, Aristeidis; O'Sullivan, Lilian; Bolinder, Martin; Fleskens, Luuk; Kandeler, Ellen; ... (2022). Soil-Improving Cropping Systems for Sustainable and Profitable Farming in Europe. Land, 11(6), p. 780. MDPI 10.3390/land11060780

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Soils form the basis for agricultural production and other ecosystem services, and soil management should aim at improving their quality and resilience. Within the SoilCare project, the concept of soil-improving cropping systems (SICS) was developed as a holistic approach to facilitate the adoption of soil management that is sustainable and profitable. SICS selected with stakeholders were monitored and evaluated for environmental, sociocultural, and economic effects to determine profitability and sustainability. Monitoring results were upscaled to European level using modelling and Europe-wide data, and a mapping tool was developed to assist in selection of appropriate SICS across Europe. Furthermore, biophysical, sociocultural, economic, and policy reasons for (non)adoption were studied. Results at the plot/farm scale showed a small positive impact of SICS on environment and soil, no effect on sustainability, and small negative impacts on economic and sociocultural dimensions. Modelling showed that different SICS had different impacts across Europe—indicating the importance of understanding local dynamics in Europe-wide assessments. Work on adoption of SICS confirmed the role economic considerations play in the uptake of SICS, but also highlighted social factors such as trust. The project’s results underlined the need for policies that support and enable a transition to more sustainable agricultural practices in a coherent way.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Soil Science
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Alaoui, Abdallah


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
900 History > 910 Geography & travel








Ariane Viviane Lisa Grimmer

Date Deposited:

31 May 2022 15:49

Last Modified:

28 Apr 2023 09:42

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

soil quality; sustainable soil management; adoption; crop management; environmental dimension; sociocultural dimension; economic dimension




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