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EIP Humuvation



Innovative cropping systems to promote yield stability and humus build-up




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Background information & challenges


  • The effects of climate change are felt in domestic agriculture in the form of significant fluctuations in crop yields.
  • Agriculture itself contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and thus to climate change.
  • However, with innovative cultivation systems and targeted humus build-up, emissions can also be reduced in agriculture and carbon can be fixed.


Planned innovation & aims


The aim of the project is

to combine existing innovative cultivation systems and adapt them to the climatic conditions in Hesse in order to ensure humus build-up and yield stability.

The innovation of the project is characterised by the following points:

  • multifunctional effects on the environment, climate and food productivity
  • pioneering function with regard to the development of new types of catch crop mixtures
  • pioneering function with regard to the scientific investigation and documentation of innovative cultivation systems and their effects



  1. Exact trial (on-station): Establishment of 36 experimental plots = 3 different tillage methods (reduced tillage, reduced tillage with charcoal incorporation in subsoil, plough [=reference]) with 3 different main crops each (field bean, maize, winter wheat) after an intercrop adapted to the tillage method (i.e. a total of 9 different combinations).
  2. Field trial (on-farm): non-randomised strip trials on the 4 field sites (same crop rotation and largely the same cultivation methods as in the exact trial).
  3. Evaluation of the influence of the respective variants in the areas of climate protection and climate adaptation (humus fractions, water infiltration, soil moisture, aggregate stability) as well as the agronomic parameters (N leaching potential, macro- and micronutrients) in the exact and field trial.
  4. Evaluation of the economic viability of the respective variants in the field trial
  5. Establishment of a practical research network of farmers, advisors and scientists to ensure that the results are highly relevant to practice.


Lead Partner


Vereinigung Ökologischer Landbau e.V. (VÖL)
Tim Treis



Scientific guidance


Professorship of Organic Farming with focus on sustainable soil use

Lucas Kohl



Project duration