Project Newsletter #7


SIEUSOIL newsletter (21)

Check out SIEUSOIL’s progress and our latest publications and deliverables in “Project News”.

Facts and Figures” depict the current state of Fertiliser consumption in the EU. Read about the role of “Soil and agriculture in the EU plan Fit for 55” and find out “What we are reading”.

We once more present the most interesting “Upcoming events” and make sure that you are up to date on the latest news “In case you missed” them.

Don’t forget to follow us on social media and the project’s website to get the latest information.

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Project News


SIEUSOIL has kept on the hard work and six new deliverables have been completed following project’s progress. All public deliverables are available here:

  • D2.4 Report of the impact of Land Use on Soil Quality
  • D3.3 Report on yield potential in relation to soil, land and water resources
  • D6.5 DSS user training and adoption report
  • D8.5 Report on potential for adoption of SIEUSOIL tools and measures
  • D9.10 Sustainability and exploitation plan of SIEUSOIL outputs, initial report
  • D9.12 Market analysis final report


Check out the latest publications of the SIEUSOIL consortium partners in peer reviewed journals:

  • Javadi, S.H.; Guerrero, A.; Mouazen, A.M. Clustering and Smoothing Pipeline for Management Zone Delineation Using Proximal and Remote Sensing. Sensors 2022, 22, 645 (link).
  • Karapetsas, N., Alexandridis, T.K., Bilas, G., Munnaf, M.A., Guerrero, A.P., Calera, M., Osann, A., Gobin, A., Rezník, T., Moshou, D. & Mouazen, A.M.. Mapping Soil Properties with Fixed Rank Kriging of Proximally Sensed Soil Data Fused with Sentinel-2 Biophysical Parameter. Remote Sensing 2022, 14, 1639. (link)


The SIEUSOIL project is after a three-year journey coming to its end. Its aim and objectives are being successfully reached and capitalised on. The project’s partners are utterly delighted to share their achievements in the following where you can read about the project‘s status, results and next few steps remaining per Work Package.


WP1 Eurasian Soil Platform: The aim of WP1 was to establish a harmonised Eurasian soil and land geo-database highlighting soil and land quality indicators in a common China-EU Web Observatory platform. SIEUSOIL has managed in close cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to lay down the cornerstone for the Global Soil Information System (GloSIS). The SIEUSOIL/GloSIS ontology is available upon request under an open licence and it includes 11 modules for 340 soil properties. The semantic models of GloSIS and Open Land Use, will continue being enhanced relative to refactoring of the physiochemical properties code list, the creation of soil sampling procedures code list and tools for easy extension of soil properties and the implementation of a new versioning approach. SIEUSOIL also closely collaborates with the DG Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission on evaluating the accuracy of soil related datasets of self evidence of data providers and a paper on Land Use Policy relative to these findings is soon to be published.

WP2 Soil Management Methods:  This WP looked into a compilation of the most promising soil management methods (using both conventional and emerging technologies, as well as from field to landscape scale) to study the individual and combined effects on soil health and productivity. WP2 is working towards providing final recommendations for soil management for improving soil quality and function, an analysis on the impact of Land Use on Soil Quality and the assimilation of biophysical quality indicators into fusion products.

WP3 Limiting factors to optimal quality and productivity: The WP3 seeks to develop an evaluation framework for assessing current soil and land quality and to determine current limiting factors to optimal quality and productivity. So far, the spatial variability in yield has been characterized based on statistics at different scales and remote sensing-based indicators and the soil. Additionally, land and water characteristics that reflect efficient management of soil quality and land resources as well as limitations for optimal production with limited inputs have been established. These results are currently being assessed to calculate the yield potential from field and farm to regional and country scale, and its relation to soil quality and land and water resources management; whilst a web-based viewer for multiple actors is being developed to explore and derive information at the field scale.

WP4 Precision Agriculture: The main objective of WP4 is to implement precision agriculture technologies and approaches to increase soil productivity at reduced input and environmental footprints. Having successfully completed geostatistical analyses for mapping the spatial distribution of named soil and crop properties, as well as the delineation of management zone maps, variable rate fertilisation experiments were conducted in the 2021 cropping season. Simulation work on site specific tillage took place, followed by site specific tillage experiments in the 2022 cropping season that are still running. Regarding SIEUSOIL’s Controlled Traffic Farming solution it has been concluded it provides significant advancements, when it comes to efficient plot divisions in 3D, the optimisation of entry and exit points of both plot and plot segment, the employment of more machines in parallel and obstacles in a farm machinery trajectory.

WP5 Spatial Land Suitability Analysis Tool: The scope of WP5 is to develop a methodology for Land Suitability Analysis based on several indicators describing the current and future pedoclimatic conditions of the area, along with other factors expressing soil health, crop growth and the socioeconomic status of the region. Results have up to now showed that the method is capable of producing Land Suitability Analysis (LSA) maps that comply with local conditions in each area and evaluating SICS scenarios by projecting soil characteristics and LSA 100 years in the future. The procedure of LS Analysis employed managed to produce pilot areas maps that are user friendly as they are provide spatial information of suitability performance per crop both as a percentage value, and as suitability class according to FAO. In addition, the produced limiting factor maps facilitates planning of management practices to ameliorate the limiting characteristics. Another advantage is the dynamic character of the procedure that enables its application to other geographical locations by considering local crops, data, and expertise.

WP6 ICT Open Platform Integration: Following the development of the prototype DSS test version in the frames of WP6 ICT Open Platform Integration the user’s training and adoption of the Decision Support System (DSS) has been completed. After pilot testing and co-creation activities, the DSS has undergone improvements in its functionalities based on the user’s experience feedback. Partners are currently working on the Platform’s fine-tuning and the release of the final version of the DSS in English and Chinese.

WP7 Pilots-integration: This WP aims at establishing the SIEUSOIL Pilots and evaluating the developed methods across different Eurasian environments. A validation framework and set-up of a multi-actor community in each Pilot were established early in the project as well as relative co-creation and co-implementation activities of local prototype packages adjusted to the needs of each Pilot. Partners are currently working on the joint evaluation and validation with a multi-stakeholder community towards achieving optimal results and the synthesis of SIEUSOIL products for end users.

WP8 Enabling environment and economic impact: WP8 works in the direction of the analysis of the impacts of the proposed scenarios for managing soils towards sustainable intensification in terms of agro-ecosystem services delivery, socio-economic benefits, and adoption by policy makers. Having identified the main socio-economic impacts and completed the policy analysis partners are currently working on the evaluation of the life cycle environmental performance of the SIEUSOIL practice, compared to current and conventional farming practices. At the same time a socio-economic analysis and impact report is being elaborated along with the SIEUSOIL Policy recommendations that will be derived from the project results.

Finally, the activities of WP9 on Dissemination, communication and exploitation are continuing strongly acting on a local, regional, national, European, and global level.

Facts & Figures

The amount of mineral fertilisers, i.e. nitrogen and phosphorus,
used in agricultural production in the EU reached 11.2 million tonnes in 2020.
This was a year-on-year increase of 2.9% compared with 2019 and an 8.3% increase compared with 2010,
when feltilisers’ use was impacted by relatively high prices.

Countries that are the largest agricultural producers and have the largest utilised agricultural areas
tend to use the most mineral fertilisers in agricultural production.
In 2020, France, Germany, Poland and Spain consumed between 1.0 and 2.1 million tonnes of nitrogen fertiliser
and between 0.1 and 0.2 million tonnes of phosphorous fertiliser.


Soil and agriculture in the EU plan “Fit for 55”

The reduction of the climate footprint of global agriculture is crucial for the fight against climate change. Agriculture contributes to 20-25% of the total global (53.6 billion t CO2 equivalents) Green-House Gas emissions and about 10% of total EU GHG emissions. Forty-five per cent (45%) of agricultural emissions are produced by land use changes and as such, it is crucial to minimize the conversion of untouched land into farmland. Increased food production needs due to the growing population must be satisfied by sustainable intensification, producing more on less land with fewer resources. In addition, mineral fertilizer production accounts for around 5% of the agriculture sector’s emissions that according to Eurostat’s latest estimations consumption of mineral fertilisers is increasing (see Fact & Figures for more).

Although the agricultural sector contributes to global greenhouse gas emissions, it has the capacity to fix CO2. Agriculture provides the opportunity to neutralize emissions through photosynthesis and carbon capture in the soil-plant system taking into account though a number of influencing factors such as the impact processing of soil has to the stability of stored CO2. Nonetheless, a number of agronomic techniques can be used to achieve important results and as such it is necessary to find balances by always adopting proper scientific approaches.

Land-based sectors including agriculture and forestry can collectively make very useful contributions to the climate neutrality goals. The Common Agricultural Policy can be an effective tool for tackling agricultural emissions through its aid to the agri-food and forestry sector. CAP can help farmers lower their GHG emissions by supporting climate-friendly productivity as well as by finance that fixes carbon through afforestation or other plant-based products.

To achieve climate neutrality, legislative initiatives such as the EU’s Fit-for-55 Package play an essential role. Fit for 55 is a part of the European Green Deal, which is the European Union’s sustainable growth strategy for a climate neutral Europe. The EU’s Climate Law sets a binding target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990, putting Europe on the path to climate neutrality by 2050.

Towards this target the Commission proposed to strengthen the contribution of the land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector to reverse the current declining trend of carbon removals and enhance the natural carbon sink throughout the EU. To this end the Environment Council adopted a general approach to the revised LULUCF regulation on the 29th of June 2022. The new Regulation on land use, forestry and agriculture presented on July 14 sets an overall objective of 310 million tons of CO2 emissions by 2030, compared to 225 today. Member states will also have to preserve and extend their carbon sinks.


What we are reading

Agricultural potential in carbon sequestration
Humus content of land used for agriculture and CO2 storage

The European Parliament recently released a research study for the AGRI Committee on the agricultural potential in Carbon sequestration. The main objective of this analysis is to provide information for decision-making on carbon sequestration and preservation of carbon stocks in European agricultural soils.  In order to reach the climate neutrality envisaged in the Green Deal by 2050, more actions than merely reducing agricultural GHG emissions need to be taken, and large-scale carbon sequestration in European agricultural soils will be necessary. This goal may be achieved by the renewed CAP that includes improvements in environmental conditionality and foresees eco-schemes and agri-environmental measures.

This study highlights the importance of proper management of soil carbon stocks for regulating climate and soil fertility and reviews the tools offered by the renewed Common Agricultural Policy to make carbon sequestration in agricultural soils viable and preserve of the current soil carbon stocks.

Upcoming events

The Soil Health Institute annual meeting

The Soil Health Institute (SHI) is holding its 7th annual meeting virtually on August 11 and 12 under the theme “Scaling Up Soil Health”. This year’s theme reflects both the urgency and opportunity for scaling the adoption of regenerative soil health systems to mitigate climate change, improve water quality, sustain farms and rural communities, and bring widespread environmental benefits to everyone. Over the course of two days, an abundance of practical information, research, and actionable takeaways will be offered that are relevant to farmers, agribusiness, consultants, scientists, field conservationists, government, and non-governmental professionals around the world. You may register here

The 15th International Conference
of the East and Southeast Asia Federation of Soil Science Societies

The Malaysian Society of Soil Science organizes the ESAFS 2022 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on August 22-26, 2022.  This year’s theme is ‘Our Soils Our Future’. Soil degradation is negatively affecting food production and associated food security, national economies, provision of ecosystem services, adaptation to climate change, and increasing poverty. The situation is being aggravated by climate change and unsustainable soil management practices partially resulting from the rapid economic development and urbanization characterizing some countries in the region. Maintaining and improving soil health is crucial to having sufficient food sources for the population in the future. Register here

The Land Use and Water Quality International Conference

The Land Use and Water Quality International Conference will be held in Maastricht, the Netherlands, on 12-15 September 2022. LuWQ2022 is an international and interdisciplinary conference on the cutting edge of science, management, and policy to minimise the effects of agriculture and land use changes on the quality of groundwater and surface waters. The objectives of the conference are to provide a forum for exchange of scientific knowledge, research to better understand ’systems function’, modelling and uncertainty and to intensify contacts between soil/water related scientists, agro related scientists, social scientists, ecological scientists, and economists, as well as between scientists, water managers and policy makers. More info

A Soil Deal for Europe – European R&I Conference

The Soil Mission Support team invites you to the final conference that will be held on the 27th of September in Brussels, Belgium. The Horizon Europe Mission ‘A Soil Deal for Europe‘ will implement a European research and innovation roadmap towards healthy soils by 2030 to map out the road ahead towards this transition. During the conference, information on this roadmap will be provided, whilst its practical applications in the years ahead will be discussed. There will also be an opportunity to learn from and discuss successful examples of existing Living Labs and Lighthouses that aim at co-designing and implementing innovative practices and research in Europe as well as demonstrating and educating about best management practices to improve soil health. More on the Conference

In case you missed

2nd meeting of the ENRD Thematic Group on Carbon Farming

In December 2021, the European Commission adopted as a key component of the Green Deal the Communication on Sustainable Carbon Cycles. This Communication promotes the upscaling of carbon farming as a green business model and sets out a series of short to medium-term actions to address current challenges to achieve this. The Thematic Group on Carbon Farming held its second meeting in early June building on its activities so far. It looked at how to demonstrate the success of initiatives in sequestering carbon and agreed on the conditions required to enable the upscaling of carbon farming in all parts of the EU. Read more

EU Soil Mission: €95 million call opens

The 2022 Mission Soil call for proposals opened on the 12th of May. The total available budget is €95 million and the deadline to submit proposals for Horizon Europe funding is the 27th of September 2022. Topics open for proposals that focus on the role of soil biodiversity, strategies for land decontamination and reuse. They also encompass preservation and increase of soil carbon, enhancement of soil relevant education and access to information. Amongst some of the 10 different topics a “multi-actor approach” is required to ensure that the Research and Innovation process and its outcomes are more demand-driven and relevant to society. How to apply

Soil quality key to climate change resilience

New research has found that improving soil quality could reduce the climate change-induced decline in crop production whilst high-quality cropland soils limit losses in response to warmer climates and support higher yields. This study published in Nature Climate Change, conducted by an international team of experts from China, the U.K. and Germany, addressed how the interactions between soil quality and climate change influence food output productivity from croplands. The team suggest that soil quality, defined as the capacity of the soil to provide nutrients and water, holds the solution to both resilience to climate change and future food security. Explore further

EU is halving the use of pesticides to restore ecosystems

After 30 years the EU put forward legislation to address catastrophic wildlife loss in Europe. Legally binding targets for all member states to restore wildlife on land, rivers and the sea were announced on the 22nd of June, alongside a crackdown on chemical pesticides. Targets released by the European Commission include reversing the decline of pollinator populations and restoring 20% of land and sea by 2030, with all ecosystems to be under restoration by 2050. The commission also proposed a target to cut the use of chemical pesticides in half by 2030 and eradicate their use near schools, hospitals, and playgrounds. Find out more

Join us

The SIEUSOIL consortium is formed by a multi-disciplinary international team of experts from 23 institutions in Europe and China, specializing on conservation agriculture, soil science, environmental engineering, data and process modelling, LCA, semantics-based data harmonization, remote sensing, IoT, sensors and data fusion, DSS, machine learning and deep learning. Our team will be more than happy to answer to your questions or provide more info on the project.

Project Coordinator: Professor Dimitrios Moshou