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Agriculture
Global
Agriculture

Field and Soil

A healthy, well managed soil, with high levels of organic matter contained within it, not only helps maintaining or increasing yields, it also acts as a buffer in extreme weather conditions. In drought the associated carbon helps to retain moisture.

In periods of heavy rain, no-tilled fields will maintain their structure, there will be significantly less run off and erosion, and will dry out quicker allowing the farmer to quickly get back onto them to prepare the food crops. There is also substantial evidence for enhanced biodiversity levels from no-till or conservation tillage methods. 

Field and Soil and AgBalance

In AgBalance the land use as well as the soil are crucial parameters for the calculation. Land use specifications consist of the definition of current and previous land use type, its intensity and irrigation characteristics. The soil charcteristics dertermine the loss of nutrients and erosion rates. 

 

The following soil characteristics have to be specified in the AgBalance® Model: the type of soil, pH value and mineral N levels in the soil at the start of the cultivation. If the data is not available an estimation is entered. Moreover, default values of heavy metals present in the soil are already included, but can be altered if the respective data is available.

Impact of field and soil characteristics

As indicated above the charcteristics of the field and soil have an impact on land-use, but also on eutrophication as it determines the initial soil nitrogen, but also leaching of nutrients and heavy metals due to soil erosion.