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On solid ground. 3rd Conference on Sustainable Agriculture: The Art of Farming - Innovative Solutions for a Sustainable Mainstream Agriculture SAI, Brussels, 11 May 2010. Prem S. Bindraban Director ISRIC – World Soil Information Senior Researcher – Agrosystems Research Wageningen UR.

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On solid ground

3rd Conference on Sustainable Agriculture: The Art of Farming - Innovative Solutions for a Sustainable Mainstream Agriculture

SAI, Brussels, 11 May 2010

Prem S. Bindraban

Director ISRIC – World Soil Information Senior Researcher – Agrosystems Research

Wageningen UR

basic production ecological principles
Basic production ecological principles

Model-plants

Prem Bindraban

+ water

- nutrients

  • water
  • + nutrients

+ water

+ nutrients

- water

- nutrients

Based on own experiments P.S. Bindraban

location specific soil management

Rainfed

+ fertilizers

Rainfed

- fertilizers

Marcel Galiba

Location specific soil management
soil productivity

Functional role difficult to assess

Loss of biodiversity and SOM due to land clearing

Soil productivity
  • (Living organisms)?
    • Decomposition
    • Improves soil structure
  • Texture
    • Sand
    • Silt
    • Clay
  • Soil Organic Matter
    • Nutrients (Source, CEC)
    • Soil structure (pores)
    • Water holding capacity
    • Infiltration
    • Erosion

Land  with appropriate soil characteristics

functionality important characteristics
Functionality –Important characteristics
  • Cation-Exchange Capacity = f(SOM, Clay) (r2 > 0.8)
  • Permanent Wilting Point = f(SOM, Clay) (r2 > 0.8)

e.g. Bell and van Keulen, 1995. Soil Sci.Soc. Am. J. 59: 865-871

deteriorating soils

Marcel Galiba

N

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t

r

i

e

n

t

d

e

p

l

e

t

i

o

n

N

o

d

a

t

a

L

o

w

M

o

d

e

r

a

t

e

1 ton grain

H

i

g

h

V

e

r

y

h

i

g

h

11-15 kg N/ha

Deteriorating soils

Stoorvogel et al.

fertilizing the sahel
Fertilizing the Sahel

(Bindraban et al., 1999)

Cereal yields limited by available soil nutrient

(- nutrients)

Cereal yields limited by available (rain) water

(+ nutrients)

Bindraban et al., 1999

slide11

Extraction of residues from soils detrimental to soil fertility

Soil Carbon loss

Zingore, et al., Europ J. Soil Sci 56: 727-736

nutrient interactions
Nutrient interactions

Different rates of N with (solid symbols) and without P (open symbols) on a smallholder homefield (circles) and outfield (triangles) on a sandy granitic soil (Zingore et al., 2007, 2008)

interactions with weather
Interactions with weather

Yield response of maize varying with annual rainfall patterns at 3 levels of fertilizer application (0, 17 and 52 kg N/ha) (source: Twomlow, Mugabe et al. 2008)

managing and improving soils is complex field

Infestation

Variability

Water management

Erosion

Nutrient mining

Nutrient management

Production

Managing and improving soils is complex (field)

Weeds, pests, diseases

Rainfall

Irrigation

Fertilization

Short and long term Risk

slide21

Green Water Credits

Payment of Environmental Services

Creating a financial and institutional mechanism in water management services that supports rural livelihoods

slide22

wet year

Erosion in dry year

Blue Water in dry year

wet year

soils provides solid ground for global development issues
Soils – provides solid ground for global development issues

?

  • Climate change
  • Food production
  • Input requirement (N, P, K, H2O, …)
  • Degradation
  • De- / Re-forestation (REDD)
  • Bio-energy
  • Marginal lands (micro nutrients, toxicity, salinity, acidity, …)

Good

world

soil data

slide24

GlobalSoilMap.net approach

We need your help !!

Soil depth

And you may need us.

slide25

Questions?

Prem.Bindraban@wur.nlDirector ISRIC – World Soil Information Agrosystems Research – Wageningen UR