To meet the Paris Agreement targets the Government of the Netherlands aims to sequester 0.5 Mt CO2-eq per year in clay and sandy soils from 2030 onwards through optimized soil management practices. Multiple international meta-analyses and modelling studies have shown soil carbon sequestration rates of many different soil management practices. However, the sequestration rates from meta-analyses and models may not be directly applied to a specific region, due to region-specific characteristics such as soil type, crop rotations and initial carbon stocks. Therefore, it is important to investigate the effectiveness of different alternative management practices to sequester carbon in the soil using field experiments within a specific region, in this case the Netherlands. Soil management practices included altered crop rotations, non-inversion tillage, use of compost and use of animal manure for arable farming and extending grassland age, maize-grass rotation replacing continuous maize cropping, and non-inversion tillage in maize cultivation for dairy farming.
These practices may also impact the general soil quality, in a positive or negative manner. Therefore also other soil quality indicators will be measured.
We will also look into the implementation of management practices at farms across different regions in the Netherlands. What kind of management practices do farmers take and do they get a positive carbon balance if they apply the management practices?