Knowledge for better food systems

Soil management for sustainable food production

FCRN member Mark Measures has produced this report on the use of different soil analysis and management techniques for organic and agro-ecological farming. The report is the outcome of a Churchill Fellowship.

The report summarises the author’s discussions on soil management with many farmers, advisers and researchers in the USA, Denmark and Switzerland. The report notes that standard soil analysis methods are not sufficiently detailed for all soil management methods, e.g. by not covering trace elements, organic matter or soil biology. It calls for further research on soil analysis methods for use by organic and agro-ecological farmers.

Read the full report, Soil Management for Sustainable Food Production and Environmental Protection, here (PDF link). See also Mark Measures’ workshop on soil nutrient management on 12 July 2019 and the Foodsource resource How far could changes in production practices reduce GHG emissions?

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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