Many Marche agricultural soils are subject to marked erosion due to both the geomorphological characteristics of the territory, the climatic conditions and inadequate management of the lands that favor their mineralization. This involves a progressive reduction of the thickness of the soils and a reduction of their physical and chemical fertility which negatively affects biodiversity and crop yields.
The AGRIBIOCONS project aims to mitigate the degradation of Marche soils, through the transfer and adaptation of conservation organic agriculture techniques and technologies in the cultivation systems of the Region, especially on the most common arable crops.
The project has a duration of 36 months (february 2019-february 2022) and it is funded by the Call for proposals “Support to the creation and functioning of the Operational Groups of the EIP – Sub-measure 16.1 Action 2” Year2017 – RDP for Marche 2014/2020 (EAFRD funds – contribution granted € 345.356,50).
Conservation organic agriculture
This innovation is already applied to other contexts:
✔ Pennsylvania (USA): the Farming Systems Trial (FST) of the Rodale Institute is the longest running, side-by-side comparison of organic (including no-till systems) and chemical agriculture.
✔ Tuscany: thanks to the project FIRB-SMOCA the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa has examined three different farming systems: integrated, organic and organic conservative agriculture.
✔ Friuli Venezia Giulia: thanks to the project “Conservative mechanical processing and cover crops in a three-year organic rotation”, the University of Udine has applied the conservative method involving various farms with different cultivation orientations.
Development of an organic farming productive model suitable for new climate scenarios, respectful of the soil’s conservation and of biodiversity, assisted by technological instruments like sensors and IT applications necessary for an accurate monitoring of fertility and productivity indicators.
Technical design, drawing and assembly of a prototype of soil erosion meter. The latter, once validated, will be planted on the experimental fields together with a sensor already on the market for measuring soil moisture and temperature.
Rotations and Organic-conservative practices, that are zero / minimum tillage, use of cover-crops, crop associations. The experimental scheme will compare areas managed according to the principles of ``traditional`` organic agriculture and areas managed according to the dictates of ``conservative`` organic agriculture. The tests are carried out on 7 farms - irrigated and non-irrigated - in different geomorphological situations: valley floors, medium-low and high hills.
The impact of the different managements on farms is monitored by assessing the effects on soil, agronomic aspects and management techniques.
The results achieved within the project will be disseminated through different channels: website, conferences, seminars, demonstration sessions, articles in popular and scientific journals. The results will be disseminated on local as well as European scale through the EIP AGRI (European Partnership for Innovation in Agriculture) network. At the end of the dissemination activity, guidelines will be drawn up for the application and dissemination of the innovative techniques of Organic-Conservative Agriculture.