The soil's water holding (or retention) capacity is the amount of water that a given soil can hold for crop use. Why is it so important? When there is a deficit in the amount of water in the soil, the soil needs to be replenished by precipitation or irrigation. The key is for farmers to understand the nuances of soil water holding capacity and how to manage it so that the land does not require so much irrigation or suffer from a drought. The higher the water holding capacity, the more resilient the crop is because the soil is able to resist extreme weather events.
For this project we are partnering with the Klompe Farm, a third-generation Dutch family farm located just south of Rotterdam. The farmland surface is approximately 300 hectares, among which 75 hectares are managed regeneratively, with a crop rotation plan representative of the widely used crops in North Western Europe (wheat, potatoes, onions and leguminous plants). For the purpose of the proof of practice 35 hectares are farmed conventionally to serve as a point of reference. For all plots, the same data will be collected, using exactly the same collection method. The University of Wageningen, an expert in soil data collection and analysis, will be responsible for this part of the project.