Former MEP Jan Sonneveld visits Ayoó de Vidriales

09.10.2013 By: Transfer LBC

Jan Sonneveld is a retired MEP and asked agronomist Pedro Alonso from Beral in Zamora to show him the 25 hectares site in Ayoó de Vidriales (Zamora). On this site this year wheat was sown as cover crop and next year trees and agricultural crops are going to be mixed. Pedro explained the experiments that are done here and gave him the results of the first year. He explained that the soil is dead from a microbiological point of view and therefore it was abandoned for many years. Part of the aim of this project is to restore soil activity by adding micro organisms and organic fertilizers from project partner Plant Health Care and by making use of the Roman plough. The increase in soil life is being investigated at this moment. The first results are positive.

Pedro also explained, with the help of a number of  1 meter deep holes in each area of the plot, that the soil consists of 20 to 40 centimeter soil, followed by a 10 to 20 centimeter white hard layer with some stones and there under a very dense soil with a higher clay content. The objective is to restore the fertility of the top layer and see how the roots of the crops and the trees can penetrated deeper to the lower levels. By digging these holes and washing the walls we could already see that the roots of the wheat have penetrated through the hard layer which is a good sign.

Jan Sonneveld concluded that this project is a perfect example how governments, like the municipality of Ayoó de Vidriales as landowner and the European Commission as co funder of this project, together with entrepreneurs and scientists of the University of Valladolid are doing a wonderful team work to investigate new opportunities. All the essential themes are treated in this project: carbon sequestration, biodiversity, soil fertilization, rural development of land and areas that are being abandoned and last but not least improving farm income without more EU subsidies. Jan Sonneveld is looking forward to come back next year and hopefully see more positive results in line with the objectives of the project.