Brochure "Targeted humus management in Lower Austria's soils

The new brochure "Targeted humus management in Lower Austria's soils" as a starting signal for more comprehensive humus build-up by farmers in Lower Austria.

Within the framework of the project of the same name, supported by the Lower Austrian Landscape Fund, the brochure "Targeted humus management in Lower Austria's soils - guidelines and best practice examples, developed with 81 practical farms" has been completed by Bio Forschung Austria and can be downloaded with the following link.

To this end, Prof. Walter Wenzel and his working group first developed carbon deficit maps with soil type-specific evaluations that support targeted humus enrichment in regions in need of humus. Thus, the Weinviertel, the Tullnerfeld and the central Alpine foothills were identified as the regions with the highest carbon saturation deficits and the greatest need for comprehensive areal humus enrichment.

For these regions with about 300,000 ha of arable land, the results of the farm-wide humus balances, which were compiled with the significant voluntary cooperation of 81 farms, were summarized in an overview of the current state.

These overviews show that in these regions, with the current management, a negative humus trend is still to be expected on almost half of the arable land.

Humus balancing allows estimating the humus trend on cropland based on past management. This method can also be used to estimate the effects of a planned change in management and, for example, to mathematically test various options for maintaining or increasing soil humus content.

During humus balance seminars and the on-farm surveys, suggestions were made to the 81 farmers for measures to improve their humus balance and increase soil humus content on their cropland. These measures were discussed with the farmers and checked by them for their feasibility.

On this basis of the improvement measures discussed with and reviewed by the farmers, region-specific proposals for measures were compiled for these regions. And for each of the 81 farms in the regions Weinviertel, Tullnerfeld and central Alpine foothills, optimization variants for humus management are available, for which the feasible optimization steps for the farm were filtered out together with the farm managers. These show how high the optimization potential realistically is.

20 best-practice examples of farms and their optimization measures round off the brochure and should provide sufficient and comprehensive inspiration for all who manage soil!

The humus balance calculation for a farm can be done very easily with the help of the humus balance calculation program created by Bio Forschung Austria. This requires appropriate training on the subject of humus and the correct handling of the program. Dates of humus balance seminars can be found at

In advance, however, every interested farm should download the brochure "Targeted humus management in Lower Austria's soils" via the link, so that the starting signal can be given for the most comprehensive humus build-up possible by farmers in Lower Austria.

Download brochure (in German)  >> here