Intensive and unsustainable agricultural practices are contributing to agricultural soil erosion, especially in Mediterranean countries where 1.8 tonnes per hectare is lost annually due to this phenomenon. Soil erosion causes serious long-term consequences, such as water imbalance, which damages crop development and thus the economic sustainability of farms.

We must fight against further soil degradation, but how we can act right now?

Regenerative agriculture intensifies the adoption of good, and thus sustainable, agronomic practices: the practice of minimum tillage, the use of cover crops between post-harvest and the subsequent crop cycle, including crop rotation. Covering soil with vegetation significantly limits the rate of soil erosion by catching raindrops and reducing the rate of rainwater run-off. 

The adoption of holistic approaches and digital 4.0 solutions for farm management are crucial. The use of technological and innovative tools is essential to monitor the fertility status of soils and verify the results in terms of environmental, economic or social sustainability,. Correct utilisation and thus exploitation of data for the management of farm assets and agricultural activities enables farm sustainability and supporting actors in agronomic decisions.

Furthermore, the forthcoming 2023-2027 CAP and the so-called ‘eco-schemes’ that will support the adoption of virtuous agronomic practices to fight gas emissions, increase the amount of organic in soils and reduce pesticides and fertilisers use.