Raising Awareness on the Impact of subSOIL COMPaction
1-10-2013 – 31-12-2014

Agricultural and forest soils

Parties involved:


This project aims at
1.     raising awareness on the (economic and environmental) impact of soil compaction and thus
2.     preventing (further) soil degradation as caused by compaction related to land use, soil type and climate.

Specific objectives that have been defined for this project are:
a)    to assess the economic and environmental impact of soil compaction at farm and regional level, based on specific key indicators, related to soil functions and ecosystem services;
b)    to extend the soil compaction tool TERRANIMO® with innovations in machinery related to caterpillar tracks;
c)    to extend the applicability of TERRANIMO® for Dutch, Belgian and Swedish soils;
d)    to raise awareness among relevant stakeholders in the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden on the risks related to soil compaction;
e)    to actually reduce the risk of soil compaction, through both practice (e.g. farmers) and policy (e.g. regional administration), using the soil compaction tool TERRANIMO®.

The project will start with an impact assessment study of economic and environmental effects. This will be based on an inventory of indicators related to the economic and environmental effects of soil compaction, both on-site and at farm level, as well as off-site and at regional level. For selected key indicators the impact assessment study will be carried out for 50 farmers in each country, providing important comparative insights. Economic impact will deal with costs and benefits such as labour/time, soil productivity, machinery (at farm level), as well as flood damage and agricultural production at regional level. Considered environmental effects will deal with ecosystem services and their valuation at farm and regional level

RAI SOILCOMP also involves fieldwork, soil analysis and model development. The tool involved is Terranimo®, which is a web-based decision support tool that facilitates the evaluation of the risk of compaction in field traffic (www.soilcompaction.eu). Terranimo® incorporates a database of several hundred agricultural tyres and a database of the most common soil types of some countries. The tool will be refined e.g. by incorporating information for rubber tracks and a database of common soil types in the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden in order to improve the model as a decision-making tool for farmers.

Awareness raising and dissemination will focus on three groups: farmers/ contractors, industry/ machinery companies and policy makers. These three groups in each country will be invited to participate in practical workshops. Communication and discussion material will be provided and spread via farming and innovation networks. At least 5.000 farmers per country will be reached by articles in magazines and journals.

Research coordinator RAI SOILCOMP: Mirjam Hack- ten Broeke, Alterra, The Netherlands

 Project Deliverables