The Swedish pilot is a classical agricultural research station with excellent data on both recently dominating farming systems as well as novel precision and carbon farming systems. This data trove will allow AI4SH to evaluate novel in-situ and citizen science adjusted methods for monitoring soil health.




Stockholm University is coordinating the Swedish pilot site, a research station run by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in a peri urban area in southern Sweden.


The pilot site is associated with studies of cropping systems ecology, with its focus on the design, sustainable development and assessment of arable cropping systems. The total area of the pilot site is 80 ha, of which 75% is under conventional farming and 25% is under organic farming. The main soil type associated in this landscape is loamy soil with about 15 % clay and 3 % organic material. 


There are many on-going experiments at Lönnstorp, of which several are long-term. The SITES Agroecological Field Experiment (SAFE), a large new facility for research on future cropping systems, is available for many types of studies within fields such as plant and soil ecology, biogeochemistry and agroecology. At present, there are around 40 active research experiments at the pilot site. From these, a handful of the experiments collect data that is directly relevant for the soil characterization tasks in AI 4 Soil Health. Some are also relevant for researching the information needs and responses of different stakeholders. 


Quote: “AI4SH is one among 50 projects running in parallel at the Swedish pilot site. Other researchers, farmers, advisors, farming equipment producers and other stakeholders are keen to support AI4SH and cooperate around developing novel methods for soil health assessment.”


Soil health indicators chosen, and data collected: 


The Lönnstorp pilot site is part of The Swedish Infrastructure for Ecosystem Science (SITES) and is a key component for researching the application of optical remote sensing for supporting sustainable agriculture. This is referred to as SITES-spectral.  

  1. SITES-spectral is an infrastructure for collecting spectral data for ecosystem monitoring.
  2. Through the infrastructure, SITES can offer data for research related to climate change, carbon and greenhouse gas balances, phenology, general ecology and biodiversity, and plant science.
  3. At Lönnstorp, spectral data is collected with both fixed and drone carried sensors. Two towers equipped with sensors monitor the soil and crops continuously and drones are flown seasonally. This data is freely available for research use. 


The pilot site is also part of the EU-framework Generic bio-inventory of functional soil microbial diversity in permanent grassland ecosystems across management and climate (BIOINVENT). 

  1. BIOINVENT was developed under the current European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and European Habitats Directives pointing towards increased importance of permanent and extensively managed grassland systems (PEGS).
  2. The agroecological scheme of PEGS primarily aims at reducing fertilizer input and at the same time enhancing above- and below-ground biodiversity to profit from their support functions, while decreases in food and feed provision are only accepted to a certain extent. 


Methods for evaluation:


As part of the research programs and projects at Lönnstorp, soil, water and crop data are regularly monitored and collected. Until now, this data has not been used for soil health research. The main reasoning for using the Lönnstorp pilot site within AI4SH has been to access comprehensive field data for evaluating the novel in-situ methods of AI4SH to be tested. The continuous spectral monitoring and seasonal drone spectral data is a valuable data source for researching temporal dynamics. Statistical regressions and machine learning modelling will be the principal methods used for evaluating the data.   


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