We all depend on good soils. When healthy they capture carbon, improve yields, reduce flooding and boost biodiversity.
But soils are under pressure from current farming practices, and the challenges are only increasing with the growing demand for food production.
Threats to soil health include loss of organic matter, loss of biodiversity, soil compaction from large machinery and loss of soil itself due to erosion.
It is estimated that between 60 and 70% of EU’s soils are unhealthy.
If we want to reverse this trend, we need to understand which practices work and which do not. The climate crisis does not leave us much room for mistakes, and soil is complex. So we need to be able to map changes into the future so we can make the right plan for the right locality.
For this people need the right measurement tools. The right tools will give land managers and policy makers the confidence to make changes to their farming practices which improve soil health and resilience.
What are we doing
Together we will create a free app that combines Artificial Intelligence and the latest soil health measurement techniques to help farmers and growers across Europe make changes to their management practices.
To this we will spend the next 3 years collecting data from farms and pilot sites across Europe to build a model for this to work from.
Along the way we will share our learning, educating people about the latest soil health measurement techniques and sharing stories from the European soil practitioner community.
EU Soil Mission
AI 4 Soil Health is one of a group of Horizon Europe funded projects which fit under the EU’s Soil Health Mission for 2030.
The 8 Mission objectives:
- Reduce desertification
- Conserve soil organic carbon stocks
- Stop soil sealing and increase re-use of urban soils
- Reduce soil pollution and enhance restoration
- Prevent erosion
- Improve soil structure to enhance soil biodiversity
- Reduce the EU global footprint on soils
- Improve soil literacy in society
As part of this work, 100 living labs and lighthouses are being developed to lead practical experiments on the ground and showcase regenerative practices. AI 4 Soil Health will be working with these projects to ensure good measurement tools are at the heart of soil recovery.
Projects AI 4 Soil Health is collaborating with:
Experts and specialists in a range of soil health and AI disciplines in their respective fields.
Pilot sites representing 11 of the 13 pedo-climatic regions across Europe
To support the EU’s Soil Health Strategy for 2030