Duurzaam bodembeheer

Soil is the basis for food production, water management, biodiversity, carbon sequestration and nutrient cycles. It is one of the most important foundations of our existence. The Dutch government aims to ensure that all agricultural fields are managed sustainably from 2030. This requires expertise and commitment from (future) farmers, as well as from advisors, suppliers, buyers, landowners and other parties in the agricultural chain.

Aeres University of Applied Sciences makes an essential contribution to the training of (future) entrepreneurs and advisors with a critical and investigative attitude, who in professional practice can handle the complexity and innovations that sustainable soil management entails.

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This concerns further development, implementation and expansion of (existing) knowledge and tools in the professional practice of sustainable soil management. Some examples of what we work with in projects in the field are the tools used to calculate the balance in organic matter (including Ndicea), the soil quality assessment (including ‘Bodemconditiescore’ = soil condition score), and integral consultancy (‘Bodemkwaliteitsplan’= soil quality plan). On this basis, students learn how to provide plot-specific advice. This is also the basis for training soil consultants.Knowledge sharing and exchange is a key factor in various transition assignments in agriculture. Project activities by researchers, teachers and students provide an extra impulse and dynamics to knowledge development and dissemination in regional and national processes. With this, the research group is a relevant link between research, education, entrepreneurs and governments. Students are involved in regional projects with farmers and agricultural companies, for example for assessing soil quality, advice on multi-year soil management plans and support in the application of online tools. Farmers are very interested to work on innovations together with students. They learn a lot from each other, such as a critical and investigative attitude with regard to information sources, interpretation of test results and assessing new tools. The students provide feedback to the researchers, who can use this to improve a next version


A team of eight soil science teachers and researchers guides students in the research on innovations and improvement of soil management, including soil compaction and subsidence, soil life, organic matter and water management. New knowledge, tools and practical examples from the projects are embedded in the curriculum.


Research projects on:

  • Soil compaction
  • Organic matter and climate
  • Soil life
  • Resilient cultivation systems, such as regenerative, climate-robust, circular

Lifelong Learning

  • Training and accreditation of soil advisors
  • Training of soil coaches
  • E-modules for farmers


  • Training modules next generation soil advisors
  • Train the trainer, living labs

Educational innovations

  • Updating the soil science curriculum
  • Application of the Peek-app for excursions on Dutch soils
  • Flipping the classroom: a series of documentaries 'The soil from the above'