Soil mapping proves fertile soil in Taurene parish
This year, the Ministry of Agriculture continues implementation of the project “Enhancement of sustainable land soil resource management in agriculture” of the Norwegian financial instrument to restore information on agricultural soil in Latvia, obtain data on carbon changes in soil and factors of glasshouse gas emissions, characteristic for Latvia.
In summer 2021, researchers of the Geography and Earth Sciences faculty of the Latvian University (LU) carried out Latvian soil mapping and research under the activity “Improvement of reliable, country-specific soil information on agricultural land”. Research of agricultural soil in Taurene parish, based on historical data of Latvian agricultural soil research, concluded that soil erosion on slopes and tops of hillocks was not as intensive as it has been shown in historic maps. Just the contrary – majority of soils in grasslands inspected nowadays, according to the International Classification of Soils (WRB), conform to the groups of soil with a higher content of organic matters in surface of land or arable layer.
Area of soil, showing signs of gleying or excessive water, is approximately the same as in historic data however, in some profiles soil humidity is both reduced and increased. Inspected places, where historically there were peat soil, also at present, conform to peat soil criteria.
Upon carrying out further planned research of agricultural land, experience acquired in Taurene parish will be taken in consideration. It is concluded that historic soil maps can be a good reference-point for selection of further research sites, but it is obvious that the impact of relief and other soil formation factors will have to be taken into account.
The Ministry of Agriculture, being the responsible partner in the project “Enhancement of sustainable land soil resource management in agriculture” (E2SOILAGRI), is grateful to landowners and land managers, local governments of Taurene parish and Vecpiebalga region for their support and responsiveness toward researchers upon carrying out soil mapping!
The last mapping of soil in Taurene parish was carried out in 1982 therefore, it was necessary to update the data. From June to September of the last year, 57 soil deep-diggings were inspected of which 46 were historic deep-diggings and 11 new ones that were necessary to explore diversity of soil, characteristic for the territory. The historic soil deep-diggings, where currently no agricultural activity is being carried out, were not inspected. In spring and summer 2022, LU researchers will carry out work in Platone parish of Jelgava region – on flat land characteristic for Latvia.
The activity, implemented by LU Geography and Earth Sciences faculty “Improvement of reliable, country-specific soil information on agricultural land” is part of the project “Enhancement of sustainable land soil resource management in agriculture” (E2SOILAGRI) of the Norwegian financial instrument. The research of Latvia’s soil will go on till January 31, 23024.
Partners of the Ministry of Agriculture in implementation of the Norway Grants Climate and Environment Program 2014 – 2021 “Climate change mitigation, adaptation to them and the environment” in the pre‑defined project “Enhancement of sustainable soil resource management in agriculture" are Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, the Latvian Forest Science Institute SILAVA, the State Plant Protection Service and University of Latvia.
The planned project budget is EUR 1,83 million, of which EUR 1,56 million is grant financing allocated by Norway and EUR 0,27nmillion is the national co-financing.
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