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Soil health and new farming methods

Soil health is defined as the long-term sustainability of ploughland, the ability to deliver ecosystem services and promote biological diversity both above and below ground. Here you can find various research projects about soil health that are run by SLU RådNu.

Support for soil health contractors

The research project "From wanting to daring and being able" at SLU RådNu aims to contribute to supporting farmers who want to use new cultivation methods to improve soil health. Many farmers show great interest and curiosity in soil health issues, but they are unsure of how to start and what to do. This project, which is supported by the Kamprad Family Foundation, will contribute with information and knowledge.


Collaboration and knowledge development

PREPSOIL will collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders with the aim of creating places for collaboration and knowledge development that can be evolved over a long period of time. PREPSOIL shall contribute to an improved knowledge of soil health among broad target groups through a web portal with the ambition of being the gathering place for information, resources and tools on the subject.

Prep Soil logo

SoilX: Soil management during extreme weather

The SoilX project will collect evidence for the effects of soil management on the soil's water-regulating functions and the crop's response throughout Europe. This is done by measuring the soil's hydraulic and mechanical properties in long-term field tests. Here, farmers' opinions on what it means to be a "good farmer" in relation to land issues and climate change management are also examined.

hand holding dirt

Implementation of soil compaction risk assessment system

Soil compaction due to driving by agricultural machinery is one of the biggest threats to soil health. When the soil is compacted, the drainage capacity of the soil and the gas exchange between the soil and the atmosphere deteriorate, while the mechanical resistance for roots and organisms such as earthworms increases. The main purpose of the project is to investigate whether and how the Terranimo® decision support system could be included in the farmer's operational planning.

Tractor in a field

Relationship between farming methods, soil quality and yield

Climate projections for Sweden show that the future will mean higher temperatures during the summer and greater variations in precipitation between years. This will bring enormous challenges for Swedish agriculture. The main aim of the project is to shed light on the relationship between farming methods, soil quality and harvest. To study these, we gather farmers in Västergötland and Östergötland and carry out surveys to identify risks, measures and knowledge gaps.

work in the field

What is required of an soil health pioneer

Supplementary qualitative in-depth interviews for a study conducted by the The Swedish Board of Agriculture in 2020–2021. The purpose of The Swedish Board of Agriculture's project was to describe the systems of some soil health contractors, from a technical and agronomic perspective. The supplement includes in-depth interviews with soil health entrepreneurs with questions about their driving forces, knowledge needs, value base, experiences and relationships, which have and have had an impact on their decision to change their cultivation systems.

Farmer holds shovel with dirt
Jenny and Christina

Jenny Höckert and Christina Lundström

Researchers Jenny Höckert and Christina Lundström at SLU RådNu are responsible for the various research projects in soil health, regenerative agriculture and Conservation Agriculture. Among other things, they examine the driving forces and success factors of so-called earth soil pioneers who have made, or are about to make, a conversion journey.

Published: 26 March 2024 - Page editor: catherine.kihlstrom@slu.se