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Assessing the Potential of No-Till Farming Across European Soils.

Conservation tillage practices such as the no-till method (NT) have been very effective in tackling many soil threats. Though widely adopted in many countries across the world, the uptake of NT is very limited in Europe. This project will investigate the current adoption constraints of NT in Europe.


Duration: From 2016 – 2020.


This project takes place at The University of Sheffield. No-Till (NT) farming is gaining huge popularity, with the global area under NT increasing exponentially and in Europe, the uptake of NT has been slow, and there is an urgent need to understand in what farming contexts NT can offer the greatest benefits to European agriculture.

The objectives are:

1. Conduct a meta-analysis on adoption constraints of NT system across all available case studies and identify potential socio-environmental barriers.

2. Undertake a preliminary assessment of the impact of NT farming on soil and environmental quality and seedling establishment.

3. Produce holistic farm metrics of the socio-environmental suitability of NT methods in the European context.

The adoption of NT will be investigated using interdisciplinary approach (physical and social sciences). The studentship will help to develop and consolidate a new European network of partners, and will generate pilot data to support a larger funding application addressing the identified opportunities for improving European soils through NT methods. The proposal strongly reflects the strategic objectives of the Grantham Centre of Sustainable Futures in Sheffield, bringing inter-disciplinary perspectives to bear on issues of soil conservation and management.


Researchers involved in this project include: Manoj Menon, Anna Krzywoszynska and Colin Smith.