Monitoring the reduction of soil carbon and nutrient losses in Croatia: quality assessment/quality control of soil sampling procedures and soil analysis

    Project Details


    Main research question/goal
    This research focuses on assessing and improving the quality of agricultural soils in Croatia, a new EU Member State. The expertise of ILVO on soil quality monitoring is shared with Zagreb University in a cooperation programme between Flanders and Croatia. The program was started to fulfill the European Directive concerning nitrate leaching to surface and ground water. A manual for soil sampling and analysis of organic carbon and residual nitrate in Croatian agricultural soils has been developed and has been tested in practice under Croatian conditions. Monitoring and (as necessary) supplying the soil with sources of additional organic carbon is an important step towards maintenance and ameliorating the fertility of agricultural soils.

    Research approach
    Croatian researchers were trained at ILVO to perform soil sampling and soil analyses on agricultural land. The Croatian partner has three case studies in three agricultural regions in Croatia. The data are analysed in collaboration with ILVO to assess soil organic carbon levels and residual nitrate concentrations on agricultural land in Croatia. ILVO and Zagreb University both organise proficiency tests and develop a manual on sampling, analysis and quality control in labs and between labs. Based on the proficiency test results we assess the quality of the analyses in different Croatian labs.

    As an EU Member State, Croatia must develop its own monitoring system of soil fertility,, describe the system and test it for local applicability. By organising proficiency tests for labs, the quality of chemical analyses on agricultural soils can be assessed and improved. This project will help the Croatian Government to comply with EU Guidelines on the soil quality of agricultural land.
    Effective start/end date1/04/1031/03/13