SOILVEG Project: the final press release including results achieved and indications for future steps (IT)


The innovative European research project SOILVEG (Improving soil conservation and resource use in organic cropping systems for vegetable production through introduction and management of Agro-ecological Service Crops) has come to an end. It involved 9 European countries and 14 institutions over a 3-year period.

It started from the concept that ASC- Agro-ecological Service Crops are introduced in the agro-ecosystems to provide or enhance ecological services, thus promoting the whole soil-plant system equilibrium. ASC introduction and proper management have impact on soil quality and fertility and soil nutrients losses. They also contribute to increase soil C sink potential, to mitigate GHG emissions and influence weeds, diseases and pests occurrence. To avoid competition with the subsequent cash crops, the growth of the interposed ASC is terminated in advance of the cash crop planting. The traditional, most widespread, technique used to terminate the ASC is incorporation as green manure into the soil by tillage. However, since tillage is an energy and labour consuming and soil disturbing operation, the use of no/reduced tillage techniques, as the rolling crimping technology that terminates by flattening the ASC, has received increasing interest.

So, the research project verified the hypothesis that the use of the roller crimping technology for ASC termination  i) maintains yield of the cash crops and vegetable products quality, ii) reduces soil disturbance and enhance soil quality, improving internal system use of nutritive elements, iii) reduces fossil fuel energy consumption, iv) creates a suppressive environment for pests, diseases and weeds.

The project also tested the hypothesis that, compared with the incorporation of ASC into the soil as green manure, the use of the roller crimper reduces nutrient losses from the soil/plant system and GHG soil emission. It also verified if the introduction and the proper management of warm season ASC in the milder climatic areas (i.e. Southern Europe regions) is a feasible option for resilient vegetable cropping system design and management. The results were the optimisation and the spreading of novel ASC management strategies aimed to improve soil quality and to enhance resources use in organically managed systems for vegetable production.

SOILVEG Final press release (in Italian)

More information about the project at the LINK


Source: CREA - Consiglio per la Ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'Economia Agraria
AA - Centro di ricerca Agricoltura e Ambiente