High levels of glyphosate found in European soils

24th October 2017 There has been a great deal of discussion about the use and extension of the approval of the use of glyphosate as a herbicide. Glyphosate is currently the most used herbicide in Europe. In 2016 the approval by the European Commission for the use of this agent expired. However, an extension of approval of use is currently being discussed. One of the conditions of this is that the agent cannot have a negative impact on the health of people, animals and the environment. Yet, little attention has been given to the presence of glyphosate in agricultural soil as a result of the broad use of this agent in agriculture. A scientific publication written by an international group of scientists led by Wageningen University & Research has recently been published in the journal Science of the Total Environment. This article contains the details of more than 300 soil samples taken from agricultural land in ten European countries, and argues against renewal of the approval of use of this herbicide.

RECARE measures to be piloted in Portuguese Government's post-fire restoration plans

Post fire mulching

6th October 2017, Portugal. The RECARE measures to prevent soil erosion in post-fire areas trialled in the Portuguese case study, are to be piloted as part of the Government's restoration plans to protect the burnt soils of the Pedrógrão Grande area affected by the devasting forest fires in June 2017.  The RECARE measures involve mulching the soil with pine wood or crushed eucalyptus (see here).  The Secretary of State for Forests, Miguel Freitas, reportedly said: "We will have to move very quickly. Erosion and waterproofing of soils are a threat to the region's natural resources that force us to race against time".  More information about the restoration plan can be found in this Portuguese news article or watch this TV broadcast (minute 30:15) from Jacob Keizer, the case study leader.  For further details about these measures, please contact Jacob Keizer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

RECARE presentations at Wageningen Soil Conference 2017

WageningenSoilConf31st August 2017, Wageningen Two presentations on the RECARE project were given at the Wageningen Soil Conference: Soil Science in a Changing World, which took place between 27th-31 August 2017.  Rudi Hessel, presented an overview of the RECARE project, whilst Hedwig van Delden gave a presentation on "Integrated assessment modelling for preventing and mitigating soil threats: The role of European policies, land use and land management"

Supporting World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD17) - 17th June 2017

RECARE - Halting the desertification of Iceland's fragile sols


RECARE scientisst visiting desertification restoration area below the Hella volcano (Photo@ Erik van den Elsen)17th June 2017, Iceland In the battle to save the planet’s soil from desertification, the black volcanic sands below Iceland’s largest active volcano seems an unlikely place to start. The RECARE project, funded by the European Union, is involved in finding and sharing solutions to soil threats across Europe and recently the project scientists visited the RECARE case study site in Iceland to learn more about the efforts to halt the soil threat of desertification.

Our host Johann Thorsson from the Icelandic Soil Conservation Service (SCSI) explains that Mount Hella (pronounced HeK-la) is overdue for an eruption. Sensors are detecting that the mountain is swelling with magma entering its upper chambers, but that should not distract from the business of restoring the soil as demonstrated in the trial plot. Johann and his team are experimenting with ways in which to halt the desertification of Iceland and to restore the fertility and health they have not had for several centuries. Prior to settlement, Iceland, like many islands colonised by humans with axes and followed by sheep, was not as it appears today. The first people found an island covered with trees, some of which stood at over 10 metres and were later used for building boats. Underpinning these verdant forests was a soil that was both fertile and protected from the vicissitudes of Iceland’s weather.

Video on soil compaction from RECARE Danish Case Study

A video from an event held at the RECARE Danish Case Study on techniques to minimise soil compaction is now available to watch here.  The video is narrated by Per Schjønning, the Case Study leader, who explains some of the causes of soil compaction and the work of the RECARE project in finding solutions to minimise this soil threat.  The video is in Danish with English subtitles

For more information about the soil threat of compaction visit our soil compaction web page or contact Per Schjonning This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.