Optimisation of erosion protection in potato growing

Topic area
Agriculture and forestry, incl. value chain

Disaggregation level
Climate change adaptation
Knowledge transfer
EIP European Innovation Partnership

Project region
Lower Austria

LE– Programming Period
LE 14–20

Project period
01.12.2018-30.05.2022 (geplantes Projektende)

Project costs overall

Subsidy from LE 14-20

EN - 16.02.1. Unterstützung bei der Entwicklung neuer Erzeugnisse, Verfahren & Technologien der Land-, Ernährungs- & Forstwirtschaft

Project initiator

Short description

In potato growing the conventional type of management contributes more to soil erosion than the cultivation with other crops. This does not only result in crop failures, but reduces also the water retention capacity. Due to the progressing climate change, this problem will come to a head. In order to improve the situation a new growing technique for potatoes considerate of erosion, which can be applied to as many different conditions as possible, and can be scaled in this way, will be developed. For this purpose various types of field trials are carried out and evaluated. The focus is on feasibility, economic efficiency, and effectiveness.

Point of departure

The growing of crops causes, among other things, soil erosion, which will further aggravate due to climate change and global warming. As a consequence, on the one hand, the soil fertility will decrease, and there will be a threat of crop failures and, on the other hand, the water storage capacity will decrease as well, which will have negative impacts in view of the future. In Austria, in particular soil erosion due to cultivation of potatoes is problematic. It takes primarily place in the Weinviertel and Waldviertel regions and causes there already the first negative effects such as increasing floods. For other crops, there exist already alternative methods of cultivation, however, for potato growing there exists no satisfactory substitute so far, therefore innovative technologies are demanded, which are to be found by means of the project OptEro.

Project implementation and measures

1. Production of field trials in different, pre-defined variations at various farms and at an experimental station of Agro Innovation, in order to test potential protective measures and their effects
2. Measurement of:
a. soil erosion by means of aerial photo interpretation and establishment of erosion measurement parcels.
b. Quantity and intensity of precipitation
c. Plant yields
d. Change of characteristics, which are decisive for erosion, such as ground roughness
e. Site-specific soil properties
f. Economic factors
3. From the 2nd project year onwards, demonstration projects on a larger area, in order to test the practicability