Brussels conference marks successful conclusion of EU SmartSOIL project

On 30 September, Dr Julie Ingram and Jane Mills attended the final conference of a major EU project called SmartSOIL, which took place at the Halles des Tanneurs in Brussels. Around 100 participants representing policy-makers, farmer unions and advisory organisations, researchers, NGOs, Member States and regional authorities, researchers and farmers attended the day-long event.

SmartSOIL conference in Brussels, 30/09/2015
SmartSOIL conference in Brussels, 30/09/2015

The conference presented the results of the SmartSOIL project and offered a forum to discuss the implications and opportunities for policy and practitioners. Julie Ingram introduced the approach taken to developing the main output of the project, the SmartSOIL decision support toolbox, which aims to help advisers, farmers and policy-makers identify cost effective management options to optimise crop yields and soil carbon for particular farming systems, soils and climates.

Jørgen E. Olesen, the project co-ordinator, from Aarhus University introduced 7 key principles of effective soil organic carbon management and highlighted the key messages on the impact of soil management practices on crop productivity, soil organic C stocks and other ecosystem services.

The afternoon sessions considered the economic benefits for farmers of soil carbon management followed by a participatory discussion on SmartSOIL policy recommendations, including innovative approaches and policy options for promoting beneficial management practices.

The CCRI was one of twelve partner organisations from Denmark, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Belgium Hungary and the UK, working on the project, which started in 2011.  You can find out more about the SmartSOIL toolbox on the project website (