From experimental research to an on-farm tool for participatory monitoring and evaluation: An assessment of soil erosion risk in organic olive orchards

J. Milgroom, J. A. Gómez, M. A. Soriano, E. Fereres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The conservation of soil in agricultural systems prone to erosion can occur as a result of conscientious soil management practices by individual farmers. Although soil is one of the world's most important and highly threatened natural resources, and should be among the top priorities in organic agriculture, soil management practices and the effect of those practices on erosion risk are rarely, if ever, taken into account as a part of organic certification. In order to fulfil the need for a tool to monitor soil erosion in organic olive orchards in Southern Spain, we have developed a methodology that assesses erosion risk through an easy to use, illustrated erosion risk field manual to be used by farmers, inspectors for certifying agencies and field technicians. The methodology developed for the assessment is based on a simplified version of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE), combined with an evaluation of key visual symptoms of soil erosion. The methodology is described, and the results from use of the assessment in the field and in workshops with farmers are presented. The potential for use of the methodology for other crops and in other regions is discussed and also the future relevance of farmer-oriented tools in the context of changing regulations within the common agricultural policy of the European Union.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-411
Number of pages15
JournalLand Degradation and Development
Volume18
Issue number4
Early online date8 Feb 2007
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Experiential learning
  • Field manual
  • Olive
  • Organic
  • Participatory monitoring and evaluation
  • Soil erosion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Development
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Soil Science

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