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Department of Soil Sciences

The soil is of key importance in organic farming. In long-term field trials and on farms the Soil Sciences Division investigates the impacts of organic and non-organic farming systems on soil quality and their efficiency in terms of fertilizer and energy use. Of particular interest in this context are the micro-organism communities in the soil and their role in the mineralization of organic matter and the formation of humus. To help maximize yields in arable crop production and vegetable production while also sparing natural resources, the group explores reduced tillage systems, the use of beneficial soil bacteria and mycorrhizae, and ways of improving nutrient cycles through crop rotation. Moreover we are seeking alternative phosphorus sources, utilizing recycled products. Work on soil and climate includes quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural land use in order to identify ways of mitigating climate change. Research is also conducted into ways of managing agricultural soils that promote adaptation to climate change.