A. Scientific outlook
1. Soil conservation
In this session, Soil conservation is defined latu senso as the prevention of soil loss, due to erosion or reduced fertility. The causes could be over usage, acidification, salinization or other chemical soil contamination. Techniques for improved soil conservation include crop rotation, cover crops, conservation tillage, contour farming and planted windbreaks.
2. Soil compaction and structure remediation
This session will include results and modeling on (i) the effect of load and soil moisture on soil compaction (ii) the dynamics of soil structure following compaction and (iii) consequences on soil properties and plant growth.
3. Soil ecology and Ecosystem services
Soil micro and macro organisms play a major role in main soil functions such as mineralization, water infiltration, aggregation… By favoring biological and ecological soil processes they provide ecosystem services such as soil pathogen regulation, waste recycling, water quality preservation. This section will include results on (1) effect on tillage techniques on soil ecology and ecosystem services, (2) effect of soil ecology on soil aggregation processes, soil structure preservation and regeneration, and (3) soil ecology as bioindicators of soil degradation.
4. SOC sequestration and management
In this session the recent researches about the effect of tillage on carbon sequestration will be examined. Research on the effect of global change on C sequestration will also be considered.
5. Biogeochemical processes in soils
Carbon and nitrogen cycles are of primary importance for biomass production but also others ecosystem services such as climate and water regulations. Agricultural practices such tillage, or traffic, impact biogeochemical processes in soils by modifying pools and fluxes. This section will include results on the effect of agricultural practices on main biogeochemical processes.
6. Advances in soil structure characterization
Characterization of soil structure at different levels will be examined in this session: from Computed Tomography to profil cultural or spade methods, all are needed for soil quality assessment rocesses.
B. Equipment and strategies
7. Tillage and smart farming
Smart technology in agribusiness will help providing farmers with the right technology in order to optimize practices. Sensors on machines or drones can help measuring soil parameters before or after soil tillage. Precision agriculture, using smart devices and softwares, improves or minimizes input use with variable rate application.
8. Tires, tillage and seeding equipment design
The evolution of tillage practices also depends on technological advances. This session will focus on the technological improvements of tires, soil tillage equipment and seeders.
9. Design and assessment of soil tillage strategies
Soil tillage plays a key role in sustainable management of cropping systems due to its effects on crop establishment, weed, pest and disease control, soil fertility, soil organic matter, etc. This session will include results on (i) the design of soil tillage strategies or the role of soil tillage in the design of innovative cropping systems, and (ii) the results on ex ante or assessment of innovative soil tillage strategies in farmer fields or experimental stations.