Soil compaction problems and solutions

Soil compaction is a major problem for farmers and soil scientists. Indeed soil compaction decreases the yield of most agronomic crops worldwide. The alteration of soil structure by compaction limits water filtration and air access, reduces root penetration and inhibits soil living organisms. Nawaz et al. review advances in understanding, quantification and prediction of the effects of soil compaction.  Sustainable remedies are also given.


A propos

L’agriculture durable

images_english-flagVersion anglaise / English version

Ce site rassemble des billets rédigés à partir des travaux de recherche de la revue scientifique “Agronomy for Sustainable Development” c’est à dire en français l’agronomie pour le développement durable.

Les thèmes abordés sont les suivants : agroécologie, agriculture biologique, agriculture durable, agriculture urbaine, qualité des aliments et risque alimentaire, changement climatique, énergies renouvelables, biopesticides, impact des organismes génétiquement modifiés, lutte écologique contre les prédateurs, polluants, écotoxicologie, qualité de l’eau et de l’air, gestion écologique des sols, nouveaux systèmes agricoles, préservation des ressources naturelles, biogéochimie, aide à la décision, sociologie et économie des changements agricoles, animaux et environnement.

Plants for desalination and environmental remediation

Climate change and pollution are increasing drought, salinity and heavy metal contamination in food crops, and, in turn, decrease yield and threaten food safety. Salinity is caused by an excess of NaCl in soils. Salinity is a major abiotic stress for plants over 800 million hectares of land worldwide. Lokhande et al. show that shoreline purslane (Sesuvium portulacastrum) can be used for sand-dune fixation, desalination and phytoremediation in coastal regions.


Bees like plant diversity

Life on earth is impossible without plants and other photosynthetic organisms. Plants are the most important living organisms for the ecosystem because plant harvest sun energy and, in turn, all other living organisms feed on plant directly or indirectly. Plants are used for food, fiber and most recently for fuel. Pollinisators such are bees are necessary for the reproduction and survival of many plant species, including plants for food. However, industrial agriculture and the use of pesticides have strongly declined bees and other insect pollinators. This bee decline has already decreased global food production. A review article by Nicholls and Altieri discusses in detail the problems of pollinators and how to solve this problem with novel farming practices.


Legal notice

Credits :

Site Publisher: INRA

Site Editors : Aakash Goyal, Marjolaine Hamelin, Eric Lichtfouse

Webmasters : Marjolaine Hamelin, Sébastien Lamy

Images and graphics : INRA, Springer and ASD authors (open access articles)

Terms of Use and User Rights

The information available on INRA servers is the property of INRA. INRA’s permission is required for the partial or total copy of this information.
Users are responsible for the searches they carry out, as well as the interpretation and use they make of the results. Users are informed that their use of the results should not infringe on current legislation or the recommendations of the French Data Protection Authority (CNIL) with respect to personal data.
Users are warned that the information must be used for strictly professional purposes only and downloading screen shots in order to constitute or enrich a database is contrary to French law and therefore forbidden, as is its use for commercial or advertising purposes (CNIL).
Third parties wishing to provide hyperlinks to pages or documents available on INRA servers must obtain prior authorisation from INRA; otherwise, the third party may be accused of copyright infringement, parasitism or defamation. Authorisation may be requested from the server administrator or the specific department in question. It will be granted as long as the links are not contrary to the interests of INRA and if the third party guarantees that it will be possible for the user to identify INRA as the origin of the document in the event of deep linking, framing or insertion via links.
Legal documents (available on the CNIL website)
  • Act no. 78-17 of 6 January 1978 on Data Processing, Data Files and Individual Liberties
  • CNIL Decision no. 81-94 of 21 July 1981 on the adoption of a recommendation relative to general measures for computer system security
  • Act no. 88-19 of 5 January 1988 on computer fraud, referred to as the Godfrain Law, or Loi Godfrain

Food security and pesticides

The 7 billion global population should grow to 9.2 billion by 2050. This increased population will increase by 70 % the demand for food production, notably due to new dietary habits in developing countries towards high quality food such as meat and milk. Additional agricultural land is limited. More agricultural land will be used to produce biofuel or fibre instead of food. Thus, we need to grow food on even less land, with less water, using less energy, fertiliser and pesticide. Popp et al. review worldwide crop losses due to pests, and advanced methods to reduce losses using chemical and biological methods.


Farming systems to feed the changing world

Agricultural production is more and more unstable as a result of complex issues related to climate, markets and public policy. Farmers must therefore develop new farming systems adapted to changing conditions. For instance in south-western France, during summer, farmers increasingly move livestock from lower plains to high summer pastures in the Pyrenees mountains. This adaptation based on ancestral know-how is due to the increasing scarcity of herbage in lower plains in summer. Martin et al. review 41 new ideas for farming systems adapted to changing conditions.



Maize adapted to climate change

Global warming forces agriculture to be productive under marginal conditions. However modern maize hybrids fail to meet this requirement. Although breeding has achieved spectacular progress in grain yield, yields at low plant population densities remain almost unchanged. Maize hybrids are indeed unable to take advantage of resource abundance at low populations. Consequently, the optimum population varies greatly across environments. Dr. Ioannis Tokatlidis reviews the consequences of climate change on crop sustainability under widely diverse environments, and proposes crop management strategies to address the situation.


Agroforestry and biochar to offset climate change

Expansion of agricultural land use has increased emission of greenhouse gases, exacerbating climatic changes. Most agricultural soils have lost a large portion of their organic carbon, becoming a source of atmospheric CO2. In addition, agricultural soils can also be a major source of nitrous oxide and methane greenhouse gases. Stavi and Lal show that agroforestry and soil application of biochar can efficiently sequester large amounts of carbon over the long-run. In addition, these practices also increase agronomic productivity and support a range of ecosystem services. Payments to farmers and land managers for sequestrating carbon and improving ecosystem services is an important strategy for promoting the adoption of such practices.



Biofuels from plant biomass

In New Zealand 70% of the country’s electricity generation is already renewable. Plant biomass can be used for multiple forms of bioenergy, and there is a very large potential supply, depending on which global assessment is most accurate in terms of land area that could be available for biomass production. The most suitable plant species must be identified before the potential biomass production in a particular region can be quantified. This in turn depends on the degree of climatic adaptation by those species. A review article by Kerckhoffs and Renquist identified the most suitable crop species and assessed their production potential for use within the climatic range present in New Zealand.