The Horizon2020 project, SoildiverAgro, aims at organizing 5 regional meetings within the project lifetime to discuss in depth the case studies of each pedoclimatic region covered by the project.
This first regional meeting took place in Germany last February 19th. It was organized by Stefan Shrader, Thünen-Institute (TI), acting as regional coordinator of the German SoildiverAgro stakeholders´ community. This meeting was done in collaboration with the company FlächenAgentur Rheinland GmbH (FAR), and also the non-profit organization Stiftung Rheinische Kulturlandschaft and a local Farmer participated on the event.
During the meeting, the discussion among participants focused on the experimental design of the two case studies that are being developed in the continental pedoclimatic region of Germany. For both case studies it was agreed to a non-randomized block experimental design as it is more practical and achievable for the farmers.
One of the case studies discussed focusses on potatoes. This specific case study aims at the application of two different treatments: the first one being the reduction of fertilizer input and, the second one, focusing on the reduction of pesticide application.
The second case study discussed, on the other hand, centres on wheat. This case study does as well plan to apply two treatments for extensive farming which are reducing the seeding rate of wheat (distance of rows are doubled) and no pesticides, reduced seeding rate of wheat added by an undersown crop and no pesticides.
All decisions on the experimental design of both case studies are based on an intensive discussion with and consultation of the farmer, who will be the major player within the case studies.