Hands-on tool BodemCoolstof

The hands-on tool BodemCoolstof provides insights in the change in organic carbon content in the soil over time and can help you to make the right decisions regarding carbon management at field and/or farm level.

The BodemCoolstof tool is developed for arable and land-bound livestock farmers to provide insight in their soil carbon balance and in the change in soil organic matter content over time. The potential CO2 sequestration in the soil is assessed. Besides, users can make different scenario’s to test the effect of different carbon measures on the potential CO2 sequestration at field and farm level.

Additional carbon can be added through: crop residues, green manure, organic manure, and compost. Information on these carbon additions is therefore essential to run the tool. A default scenario can be designed after adding historical crop -and land management (by hand or automatically by making a connection with DACOM, AgroVision or RVO) data. Alternative scenario’s, in which a user aims to improve the carbon management, can be designed. Examples are: add extra grain crops to the rotation, add extra solid manure or compost, leave crop residues on the field, sow a cover crop after harvest, or switch from temporary grassland to permanent grassland. At the moment, the tool is able to assess the effect of measures that showed a significant effect on CO2 sequestration in the long-term field experiments. Therefore, no-till or reduced till, species rich grassland or deep-rooting grass species are not yet included. Because this tool can compare the effect of different soil carbon measures, a user is able to choose and implement the most profitable measure for his farm.

The model behind the tool is based on the scientifically acknowledged carbon model RothC, which is exhaustively been calibrated and validated using data from the long-term field experiments of Rothamsted. More information on the model can be found in  this document, Hendriks et al. (2022) and in Lesschen et al. (2021). The model calculates the carbon turnover in five carbon pools; four active and one inert. The distribution of the carbon over the different carbon pools, depends on the type of carbon input. The breakdown of carbon is pool-dependent and depends also on temperature, soil moisture and soil cover.

The tool is financed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Security and is developed within the programme Smart Land Use (BO-53-002-034). Meer information on this programme on https://www.slimlandgebruik.nl.