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Journal of Rural Studies
Volume 79, 2020, Pages 102-115

Local adaptation strategies to increase or maintain soil organic carbon content under arable farming in Europe: Inspirational ideas for setting operational groups within the European innovation partnership

E.A.C.Costantinia, D.Antichib, M.Almagroc, K.Hedlundd, G.Sarnoe, I.Virtof

CREA, Research Centre for Agriculture and Environment, Via Lanciola 12/A, 50125, Cascine del Riccio, Florence, Italy.


In the European Union, the setting of Operational Groups (OG) is supported by the European Innovation Partnership to tackle specific problems and favor innovation in agriculture. They constitute an important aspect of the current Common Agricultural Policy. Increasing or maintaining soil organic carbon (SOC) content under arable farming has been acknowledged as a primary target of European agriculture. SOC-preserving agriculture needs its techniques to be tailored to local conditions, namely, the combination of factors related to the environment (climate and soil characteristics), to the farming system (land use type, farm specialization, crop management), but also to the social and cultural context (market and availability of production means, subsidies, farmers’ education, propensity for innovation and change). In this paper we present inspirational ideas and show success examples of local adaptations strategies to increase or maintain SOC content in soils under arable farming in Europe.

Keywords: SOC, Soil fertility, Sustainable land management, Conservation agriculture, Cover crops.

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