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The QualiAgro trial

The QualiAgro trial is one of the experiments being carried out by the long-term Observation and Experimentation facilities of the Environmental Research Laboratory on the spreading of organic residues (SOERE PRO).

épandage compost. © Inra, Inra
By Catherine Foucaud-Scheunemann
Updated on 02/20/2017
Published on 07/04/2013

The QualiAgro trial is divided into 40 experimental plots of 450 m2, covering a total area of 6 hectares. It situated on the Plateau des Alluets (Feucherolles, 78).

The effects of repeated applications of three types of compost (biowaste compost, water treatment plant sludge or composted household waste) and cattle manure are being studied in the context of a wheat/maize rotation. Their agronomic efficacy is characterised in terms of their amendment value (ability to maintain stocks of soil organic matter), their fertilising value (potential to replace nitrate or phosphate mineral fertilisers by the regular application of organic residues) and other effects on the chemical (elevation of pH), physical (increase in the stability of soil structure and water retention) and biological properties (increase in microbial and faunistic biomass) of soils.

These potential environmental impacts are assessed in terms of metal trace elements, organic trace elements, pathogenic agents and gas emissions.

Influence of repeated applications of organic residues on the dynamics and composition of organic matter in cultivated soils

Repeated applications of organic residues (OR) are able to:

  • increase the stocks of organic matter in soils. The organic matter stability index is a standardised index that can simulate evolutions in organic matter stocks in soils subjected to successive applications of OR;
  • reduce the use of nitrate mineral fertilisers by direct substitution linked to the direct fertilising value of OR, or by increasing the soil organic matter content.

Dissolved organic matter plays a determinant role in the physico-chemical functioning of soil (biological activity, soil nutrient status, transport of contaminants, pedogenesis). Its nature is impacted by the type of land use and its management in agro-ecosystems.

For more information:
Ramiran Symposium 2013 - Recycling of organic residues for agriculture: from waste management to ecosystem services.

Long-term Observation and Experimentation facilities of the Environmental Research Laboratory on the spreading of organic residues

The SOERE PRO is a network of observation sites focused on the effects of the agricultural recycling of organic residues.  It comprises three main sites (Île-de-France, Alsace and Brittany), with a fourth is currently being set up in La Réunion Island, and three associated sites (Lorraine, Aquitaine and Burkina Faso). These sites enable measurement of the long-term evolution of different compartments in an agrosystem (soil, plants, water and air) subjected to spreading.

Accredited by the Alliance Allenvi (2010), the SOERE PRO is coordinated by the INRA-AgroParisTech Joint Research Unit for the Environment and Arable Crops, in collaboration with the teams managing the sites and their partners.