1) Case Study Experiment - decline in organic matter in peat soils
The researchers in The Netherlands tested the effectiveness of infiltration via submerged drains to reduce peat oxidation and so the loss of organic matter.
Submerged drains in peat soils
Results survey among 30 dairy farmers with submerged drains:
- About 10% area drained (submerged)
- Aim to increase trafficability and decrease subsidence
- 75% are positive (better trafficability, better grass yield, less drought)
- 25% doesn’t see an improvement
- These 25% have wide distances (> 6 m) or high ditchwater levels (< 50 cm -surface) according to most farmers governments and waterboards lack a vision on submerged drains
- Better insight in costs and benefits is required
- A majority will install more submerged drains if subsidized
Results pilots with infiltration via submerged drains to conserve peat:
Infiltration via submerged drains reduces the subsidence with 50 -70% depending on the ditch water level. Combination of submerged drains with a high ditchwater level of about 20 cm minus surface level reduces subsidence to less than 1 mm per year.
Further information about the case study activities in Dutch can be found on the Stakeholder Platform here.
2) Sweden Case Study - loss of organic matter in organic soil
The researchers in Sweden are testing different crops, especially reed canary grass and Tall fescue and comparing them with the "ususal" crop timothy, regarding yield and CO2 emissions.
An aeriel view of the case study site.
|Swedish Case Study Experimental site|
Effects of treatments on soil proprties
Penetration resistance (average of measurements at 10-20 cm depth) in July and October for Reed canarygrass(RCG), Timothy (T) and Tall fescue (TF).
Effect of treatments on soil threat
The N2Oemission was quite low during the growing season and no significant difference between the crops could be found. The total yield from 2 cuts (t DM/ha) of T was 6.6. RCG yielded 9.3 and TF 8.6.