Ecological approach to soil fertility and health in the Tropics - Practices that improve the soil and meet crops needs

This factsheet introduces soil fertility and health, explains how the holistic organic farming approach improves soil fertility, provides some practices which contribute to improving soil health and help meet the nutrient requirement of crops, animals and humans. The information is based on long-term experiments and on-farm research conducted in the scope of three projects across different countries in Africa, as well as Bolivia and India.
The products are intended for use by African farmers, advisors, teachers and students.

Promuovere l'agricoltura biologica in Africa: la FIBL pubblica un nuovo materiale formativo / Advancing organic agriculture in Africa: FIBL publishes new training material

L'agricoltura biologica e gli approcci agroecologici stanno acquisendo importanza in Africa, in quanto dovrebbero migliorare la salute dell'ambiente, la sicurezza nutrizionale e il benessere dei piccoli agricoltori e dei consumatori, contribuendo a diete sane e diversificate.

Strip tillage: a method to limit the time needed for soil tillage in diversified crop systems: an example in sugar beet

Diversified cropping systems can be time consuming for the farmer, finding techniques that can save farmers time is therefore a key goal. For the Syppre experiment in the Champagne region, France, crop diversification involves the use of diverse cover crops, to protect the soil, improve soil fertility, and store carbon. The planting of crops and cover crops must be always done under favourable conditions, and some crops such as sugar beet need deep soil loosening.

BioFruitNet: Practices to improve soil fertility and nutrient availability in organic fruit orchards

Organic fruit orchards are dependent on commercial organic fertilizers derived from intensive conventional animal husbandry. These inputs are contentious and to be phased out. The document proposes as a solution to develop new fertilization strategies based on farm internal resources (e.g., clover based), plant-based sources (e.g., grain legumes as living mulch in the tree row, cover crops).

FIBL: aggiornata la guida sui lombrichi, preziosi alleati delle aziende bio

Il FiBL ha aggiornato e integrato la sua guida sui lombrichi e sul ruolo da essi svolto nei suoli agricoli. Sebbene si sappia molto sulla tassonomia generale, sulla biologia e sull'ecologia di questi anellidi, le conoscenze sul loro impatto sul suolo, sulle loro interazioni con altri organismi del suolo e sull'influenza delle pratiche agricole sulle loro popolazioni crescono solo lentamente.

Long-term effectiveness of sustainable land management practices to control runoff, soil erosion, and nutrient loss and the role of rainfall intensity in Mediterranean rainfed agroecosystems

The study is published in the journal Insects. Mediterranean environments are especially susceptible to soil erosion and to inappropriate soil management, leading to accelerated soil loss. Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices (such as reduced tillage, no-tillage, cover crops, etc.,) have the potential to reduce soil, organic carbon (OC), and nutrient losses by erosion. However, the effectivity of these practices is site-dependent and varies under different rainfall conditions.