BIA-NL: Biological indicators for arable fields in the Netherlands

Indicators for soil quality are essential tools for arable farmers to formulate their soil management. With the increasing understanding of soil biology, biological soil indicators are being developed. In BIA-NL we evaluate existing and new biological indicators and aim to develop reference-and target values. These reference- and target values inform the farmer about the status of biological soil quality and give direction to soil management.

Life in soils safeguards essential soil processes such as mineralisation of plant nutrients and soil organic matter formation and disease and pest management. Also, climate regulation through carbon storage and water regulation and purification are primary soil functions which are supported by soil life. Diversity of soil life forms the basis for these processes and provides the systems its resilience and resistance.

This project is financed by Brancheorganisatie Akkerbouw and is part of the larger public-private collaboration (PPS) Beter Bodembeheer (Better Soil Management). In this PPS, researchers seek answers to questions from professionals in the field. Regularly, researchers and professionals exchange thoughts and experiences in annual workshops. Within this PPS research projects join forces and expertise by, for example, collective sampling on fully operational farms and on long term experiments of Wageningen University & Research. For further development of soil biological indicators, we also collaborate with other running projects in CSE. For more information you are welcome to contact project coordinator Gerard Korthals.