Tackling soil erosion and flooding through agroecology
Take me to the farm
Winthagen is a region covering 200 ha in the southern Netherlands, where a leading agricultural research centre – Wageningen University & Research – is working with the municipality of Voerendaal and the local Farmers’ Union to create a network that brings together farmers, landowners, the municipality, the waterboard, and other local stakeholders.
According to AGROMIX colleagues in the region, very few farmers in Winthagen follow agroforestry and mixed farming methods, though some have used subsidies to plant fruit trees in their meadows. However, other measures have been taken to prevent flooding and soil erosion, such as increasing soil organic matter by growing green manure, creating thresholds between potato ridges, direct seeding in grain stubble or green manure, and non-reversing tillage on the hilly plots. The latter is required by the government, whilst the previous methods are applied voluntarily.
According to the local farmers consulted by AGROMIX, their investments in organic soil matter, green manure, and other regenerative methods have reduced flooding and soil erosion in their region.