Technologies

Postpone grassland renewal [Netherlands]

Uitstellen van graslandvernieuwing

technologies_1662 - Netherlands

Completeness: 73%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:

Smit Annemieke

Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra)

Netherlands

SLM specialist:

Rienks Willem

Rom3D

Netherlands

SLM specialist:

Leever Henk

Hoeduurzaam

Netherlands

Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Preventing and Remediating degradation of soils in Europe through Land Care (EU-RECARE ) {'additional_translations': {}, 'value': 1073, 'label': 'Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)', 'text': 'Gemeente Berkelland - Netherlands', 'template': 'raw'} {'additional_translations': {}, 'value': 1073, 'label': 'Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)', 'text': 'Gemeente Berkelland - Netherlands', 'template': 'raw'} {'additional_translations': {}, 'value': 1073, 'label': 'Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)', 'text': 'Gemeente Berkelland - Netherlands', 'template': 'raw'} {'additional_translations': {}, 'value': 1073, 'label': 'Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)', 'text': 'Gemeente Berkelland - Netherlands', 'template': 'raw'} {'additional_translations': {}, 'value': 1073, 'label': 'Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)', 'text': 'Gemeente Berkelland - Netherlands', 'template': 'raw'}

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:

Yes

1.5 Reference to Questionnaire(s) on SLM Approaches (documented using WOCAT)

2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Postponing the timing of ploughing a grassland field by one or two years to reduce nutrient losses and organic matter decomposition.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology

Description:

On the sandy soils in this part of The Netherlands permanent grassland seems the best measure to increase the organic matter content of the soil, to reduce the leaching of minerals and to reduce loss of soil moisture.
Customary maintenance of grassland fields is to plough and reseed or rotate the grass every 5 years. 5 years is the minimum length of time required by legislation. For growth and field rotation purposes, many farmers have preference to rotate fields in intervals less than 5 years. Under this technology, farmers instead wait 6 or 7 years before ploughing.

Purpose of the Technology: Ploughing grasslands increases the breakdown and decomposition of organic matter in soils. Farmers post-pone ploughing to increase soil organic matter content and reduce losses.

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: A well established permanent grassland requires good drainage, frequent liming (possibly from residual products from water purification), deep rooting grass, reseeding after 10-15 years, and fertilisation using sufficient organic manure.

Natural / human environment: Dairy farmers on sandy soils in the eastern part of The Netherlands. In the pilot Gezond Zand 44 farmers participated, owning 720 ha agricultural land, of which 344 in use as permanent grassland.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment

Country:

Netherlands

Region/ State/ Province:

Gelderland

Further specification of location:

Haarlo - Oude Eibergen

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If precise area is not known, indicate approximate area covered:
  • 1-10 km2
Comments:

In entire area there is 344 ha of grassland owned by 44 farmers. Only 2 of those farmers implemented the technology.

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • 10-50 years ago

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through projects/ external interventions

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied

Grazing land

Grazing land

Extensive grazing:
  • Ranching
Intensive grazing/ fodder production:
  • Cut-and-carry/ zero grazing
  • Improved pastures
Comments:

Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): Decrease of soil organic matter content.

Major land use problems (land users’ perception): The group of farmers in the area experience decreasing organic matter content in soil.

Ranching: Yes

Cut-and-carry/ zero grazing: farmers also keep cattle in stable to prevent unequal grazing and dispersed manuring

Improved pasture: Yes

Number of growing seasons per year: 1
Longest growing period in days: 250 Longest growing period from month to month: March - November
Livestock density: > 100 LU /km2

3.4 Water supply

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • minimal soil disturbance

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

management measures

management measures

  • M2: Change of management/ intensity level
Comments:

Main measures: management measures

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

chemical soil deterioration

chemical soil deterioration

  • Cn: fertility decline and reduced organic matter content (not caused by erosion)
Comments:

Main type of degradation addressed: Cn: fertility decline and reduced organic matter content

Main causes of degradation: soil management (ploughing intensive grassland renewal)

Secondary causes of degradation: crop management (annual, perennial, tree/shrub) (rotation with more corn and less grassland)

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • reduce land degradation
Comments:

Main goals: mitigation / reduction of land degradation

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

{'additional_translations': {}, 'content_type': 'image/png', 'preview_image': '/media/b7/f/b7fa80d4-0900-4de1-adcb-d65df5e0ee61.jpg', 'key': 'Technical drawing', 'value': '/media/99/5/995b810b-a232-483f-9492-001f5cfcc2d1.png', 'template': 'raw'}
Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

Demonstrating area designated to corn and designated to grassland under old management of renewing grasslands every 5 years and comparing to the area under the new technology of renewal every 6 or 7 years.

Location: Wageningen. Gelderland

Date: March 20, 2015

Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: moderate (knowledge is required on the maintenance of permanent grassland, the proportion of grassland in the total farm, the frequency of reseeding and rotations with arable crops, in particular for grassland)

Technical knowledge required for land users: moderate (knowledge is required on the maintenance of permanent grassland, the proportion of grassland in the total farm, the frequency of reseeding and rotations with arable crops, in particular for grassland)

Main technical functions: Reduce decomposition of organic matter

Secondary technical functions: increase in organic matter, increase of biomass (quantity)

Change of land use practices / intensity level: Plough grassland every 6 to 7 years instead of every 5 years.

Major change in timing of activities: Plough grassland every 6 to 7 years instead of every 5 years.

Author:

Jason Stuka, Wageningen University

4.6 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Comments:

Information on costs for the technology are not yet available, and therefore no information on costs was entered into section 2.6.

Costs involved with postponing grassland renewal include the costs of yield foregone from rotations with arable crops that have not taken place, and costs of manuring of the grassland.

Costs avoided include all costs of management operations and inputs associted with rotations of grassland and arable crops that would have taken place in the life cycle of the permanent grassland (6-7 till 15 years).

Benefits include 1320 kg of additional DM/ha, or € 145,-/ha additional revenues.

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

The life cycle of permanent grassland determines both the costs foregone due to missed yields from shorter term rotations with arable crops and costs avoided due to saved operations and inputs on shorter term rotations which have not taken place.

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Specifications/ comments on rainfall:

182 days of precipitation annually

Agro-climatic zone
  • sub-humid

Thermal climate class: temperate. Mean monthly temperatures vary between 2-17 °C (LGP 240-269 days, mean monthly temperatures vary between 2-17 °C)

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
Landforms:
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.
Comments and further specifications on topography:

Altitudinal zone: 0-100 m a.s.l. (up to 45 metres a.s.l.)
Slopes on average: Gentle (only incidentally)

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • coarse/ light (sandy)
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • high (>3%)
  • medium (1-3%)
If available, attach full soil description or specify the available information, e.g. soil type, soil PH/ acidity, Cation Exchange Capacity, nitrogen, salinity etc.

Soil depth on average: Deep (A en B horizons up till 40 cm in Gleyic Podzols and Umbric Gleysols (ca 75% of the area). Hardly any soil organic matter below 15 cm. Rooting depth is up to 80 cm.) and very deep (deep topsoils rich in organic matter in Fimic Anthrosols (12% of the area))
Soil texture: Coarse/light ( Most soils have a sandy texture due to the substrate consisting of cover sands) and medium (soils in former creek valleys contain loam (Umbric Gleysols))
Soil fertility is low (most soils have a low fertility due to the sandy substrate (specifically the Gleyic Podzols, ca 40% of the area). and very high (fimic Anthrosols originating from application of farmyard manure since medieval times.)
Topsoil organic matter is medium (The purpose of the pilot project is to increase soil organic matter)
Soil drainage/infiltration is good (deep ground water. Sandy soils.) and medium (some shallow groundwater)
Soil water storage capacity is medium (dependent on soil organic matter content)

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

5-50 m

Availability of surface water:

medium

Water quality (untreated):

poor drinking water (treatment required)

5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • medium

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • subsistence (self-supply)
Off-farm income:
  • less than 10% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • average
Individuals or groups:
  • individual/ household
Gender:
  • men
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Land users applying the Technology are mainly common / average land users
Difference in the involvement of women and men: Most outdoor farm operations are completed by men.
Population density: 10-50 persons/km2
Annual population growth: < 0.5%
100% of the land users are average wealthy and own 100% of the land.
Off-farm income specification: Some farmers are contractual workers. Wives of farmers often have a job, e.g. at the municipality or craft work. No B&B activities or educational services.
Market orientation is subsistence (grass is used to feed the cattle of dairy farmers, not sold)

5.7 Average area of land used by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • medium-scale
Comments:

Average grassland is 7.8 ha per household.

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • individual, titled
Land use rights:
  • leased
  • individual
Comments:

All agriculture land is owned by farmers. Some farmers lease their land to other farmers. There are some regulations on land uses set by communities.

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

health:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
education:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
markets:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
energy:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts

Production

fodder production

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Expected. More grass, less corn. Overall less yield.

Income and costs

expenses on agricultural inputs

increased
decreased
Comments/ specify:

Expected. Not proven.

farm income

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Uncertain. More grass but less corn.

workload

increased
decreased
Comments/ specify:

Expected. Not proven.
Less rotation and management flexibility.

Socio-cultural impacts

community institutions

weakened
strengthened
Comments/ specify:

Created farmer's foundation

SLM/ land degradation knowledge

reduced
improved
Comments/ specify:

Farmers understanding ecological impacts.

conflict mitigation

worsened
improved
Comments/ specify:

Farmers collaborating with water company

Improved livelihoods and human well-being

Comments/ specify:

Dairy farmers have learned more about the importance of soil organic matter for their production systems, and about the consequences of soil management on soil organic matter and other aspects of soil health. This learning was brought by the exchange of knowledge between farmers and experts, and between farmers themselves. Farmers also profited from services provided to them by the farmers' foundations: shared investments (e.g. in the manure separator) and support in the application for subsidies to finance the SLM measure.

Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

water quality

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Expected. Not proven yet.

surface runoff

increased
decreased
Comments/ specify:

Expected. Not proven yet. Little to no

excess water drainage

reduced
improved
Comments/ specify:

Expected. Not proven yet.

Soil

soil cover

reduced
improved
Comments/ specify:

Not measured.

soil compaction

increased
reduced
Comments/ specify:

Expected. Not proven yet.

nutrient cycling/ recharge

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Expected. Not proven yet.

soil organic matter/ below ground C

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Expected. Not proven yet.

Biodiversity: vegetation, animals

biomass/ above ground C

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Not measured.

Climate and disaster risk reduction

emission of carbon and greenhouse gases

increased
decreased

6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

buffering/ filtering capacity

reduced
improved
Comments/ specify:

Expected. Not proven yet.

6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season increase or decrease How does the Technology cope with it?
annual temperature increase well

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
local rainstorm well
local windstorm well
Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought well
Hydrological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
general (river) flood well

Other climate-related consequences

Other climate-related consequences
How does the Technology cope with it?
reduced growing period well

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:

neutral/ balanced

Long-term returns:

slightly negative

Comments:

Less frequent rotation and fertility for corn production, but better for soil health.

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

Comments:

100% of land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support

2 land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
increases soil organic matter

How can they be sustained / enhanced? continued implementation of the measures and subsidy or payment for environmental service to compensate foregone revenues if rotations with arabale crops would be inserted.
increases grassland quality and yield in the long term; estimated added value of postponing grassland renewal is € 145,-/ha

How can they be sustained / enhanced? continued implementation of the measure, preferably maintain life cycles of 10-15 year for permanent grassland
reduces leaching of nutrients, herbicides and pesticides to the groundwater

How can they be sustained / enhanced? financial support from the drinking water company Vitens, who has interest in reduced influx of substances to the groundwater.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
increases soil organic matter

How can they be sustained / enhanced? continued implementation of the measures and subsidy or payment for environmental service to compensate foregone revenues if rotations with arabale crops would be inserted.
increases available soil moisture
reduces leaching of nutrients, herbicides and pesticides to the groundwater

How can they be sustained / enhanced? financial support from the drinking water company Vitens, who has interest in reduced influx of substances to the groundwater.

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
long-term investment, requires time to return improved grassland yield
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
long term permanent grassland prevents rotations with arable crops; this may reduce farmer's income reward the benefits of increased SOM through subsidy or payment for environmental services by the drinking water and dairy companies

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Gezond Zand: Met een verbeterde bodemkwaliteit naar een betere waterkwaliteit Haarloseveld en Olden Eibergen By Willem Rienks and Henk Leever 2014 Unravelling changes in soil fertility of agricultural land in The Netherlands Arjan Reijneveld 2013RECARE_WP3 Report: CS_11_Ouden-Eibergen_v2 Annemieke Smit and Simone Verzandvoort 2014

Available from where? Costs?

Free http://www.hoeduurzaam.nl/images/gallery/nieuws/Brochure/BrochureHoeduurzaam%20Definitief.pdfWageningen University Library http://library.wur.nl/WebQuery/wda/2044057Free annemieke.smit@wur.nl

7.3 Links to relevant online information

Title/ description:

Gezond Zand: Met een verbeterde bodemkwaliteit naar een betere waterkwaliteit Haarloseveld en Olden EibergenBy Willem Rienks and Henk Leever2014

URL:

http://www.hoeduurzaam.nl/images/gallery/nieuws/Brochure/BrochureHoeduurzaam%20Definitief.pdfWageningen University Library http://library.wur.nl/WebQuery/wda/2044057Free annemieke.smit@wur.nl

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