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Soil Care for profitable and sustainable crop production in Europe (SOILCARE)
Start date: Mar 1, 2016, End date: Feb 28, 2021 PROJECT  ONGOING 

European crop production is to remain competitive while reducing environmental impacts, requiring development and uptake of effective soil improvingcropping systems. The overall aim of SOILCARE is to identify and evaluate promising soil-improving cropping systems and agronomictechniques increasing profitability and sustainability across scales in Europe. A trans-disciplinary approach will be used to evaluate benefits anddrawbacks of a new generation of soil improving cropping systems, incorporating all relevant bio-physical, socio-economic and political aspects.Existing information from literature and long term experiments will be analysed to develop a comprehensive methodology for assessingperformance of cropping systems at multiple levels. A multi-actor approach will be used to select promising soil-improving cropping systems forscientific evaluation in 16 study sites across Europe covering different pedo-climatic and socio-economic conditions. Implemented croppingsystems will be monitored with stakeholder involvement, and will be assessed jointly with scientists. Specific attention will be paid to adoption ofsoil-improving cropping systems and agronomic techniques within and beyond the study sites. Results from study sites will be up-scaled to theEuropean level to draw general lessons about applicability potentials of soil-improving cropping systems and related profitability and sustainabilityimpacts, including assessing barriers for adoption at that scale. An interactive tool will be developed for end-users to identify and prioritize suitablesoil-improving cropping systems anywhere in Europe. Current policies and incentives will be assessed and targeted policy recommendations willbe provided. SOILCARE will take an active dissemination approach to achieve impact from local to European level, addressing multiple audiences,to enhance crop production in Europe to remain competitive and sustainable through dedicated soil care.
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