Articles | Volume 9, issue 1
Review article
 | Highlight paper
04 Jan 2023
Review article | Highlight paper |  | 04 Jan 2023

Soil and crop management practices and the water regulation functions of soils: a qualitative synthesis of meta-analyses relevant to European agriculture

Guillaume Blanchy, Gilberto Bragato, Claudia Di Bene, Nicholas Jarvis, Mats Larsbo, Katharina Meurer, and Sarah Garré

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Cited articles

Adu, M., Yawson, D., Armah, F., Asare, P., and Frimpong, K.: Meta-analysis of crop yields of full, deficit, and partial root-zone drying irrigation, Agr. Water Manage., 197, 79–90,, 2018. a
AgriAdapt: Sustainable adaptation of typical EU farming systems to climate change (LIFE AgriAdapt) – A1: Baseline reports for the 4 main EU Climate Risk Regions, techreport LIFE15 CCA/DE/000072, (last access: 12 December 2022​​​​​​​), 2017. a
Aguilera, E., Lassaletta, L., Gattinger, A., and Gimeno, B.: Managing soil carbon for climate change mitigation and adaptation in Mediterranean cropping systems: a meta-analysis, Agr. Ecosyst. Environ., 168, 25–36,, 2013. a
Alletto, L., Coquet, Y., Benoit, P., Heddadj, D., and Barriuso, E.: Tillage management effects on pesticide fate in soils. A review, Agron. Sustain. Dev., 30, 367–400,, 2010. a, b
Angus, J., Kirkegaard, J., Hunt, J., Ryan, M., Ohlander, L., and Peoples, M.: Break crops and rotations for wheat, Crop Pasture Sci., 66, 523–552,, 2015. a
Executive editor
I think the paper contains some important messages for the management of soil water that have widespread implications
Short summary
European agriculture is vulnerable to weather extremes. Nevertheless, by choosing well how to manage their land, farmers can protect themselves against drought and peak rains. More than a thousand observations across Europe show that it is important to keep the soil covered with living plants, even in winter. A focus on a general reduction of traffic on agricultural land is more important than reducing tillage. Organic material needs to remain or be added on the field as much as possible.