Title: Support practices (P-factor) factor on the reduction of soil erosion by water at European Scale.
Description: At European level, the effect of support practices (compulsory for farmers to receive incentives under the CAP-GAEC) on soil loss were assessed by P-factor estimation taking into account a) contour farming b) maintenance of stone walls and c) grass margins.
Spatial coverage: European Union (28 Countries)
Pixel size: 1 Km
Measurement Unit: Dimensionless
Projection: ETRS89 Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area
Temporal coverage: 2010, 2016
P-factor in Europe
The mean P-factor considering contour farming, stone walls and grass margins in the European Union is estimated at 0.9702. The support practices accounted for in the P-factor reduce the risk of soil erosion by 3%, with grass margins having the largest impact (57% of the total erosion risk reduction) followed by stone walls (38%). Contour farming contributes very little to the P-factor given its limited application; it is only used as a support practice in eight countries and only on very steep slopes. Support practices have the highest impact in Malta, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Netherlands and United Kingdom where they reduce soil erosion risk by at least 5%. The P-factor modelling tool can potentially be used by policy makers to run soil-erosion risk scenarios for a wider application of contour farming in areas with slope gradients less than 10%, maintaining stone walls and increasing the number of grass margins under the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.
Note: An update of the soil erosion indicator took place for the year 2016 and the results have been published in the paper A Soil Erosion Indicator for Supporting Agricultural, Environmental and Climate Policies in the European Union.
The P-factor dataset is in Raster format. The public user can download 2 datasets :
- Support practice factor (P-factor) in the European Union at 1km resolution
- Mean P-factor at regional (NUTS2) level in the European Union
To get access to the data, please compile the Request form. More information about Support Practices in the corresponding section.
A complete description of the methodology and the application in Europe is described in the paper:
Panagos, P., Borrelli, P., Meusburger, K., van der Zanden, E.H., Poesen, J., Alewell, C. 2015. Modelling the effect of support practices (P-factor) on the reduction of soil erosion by water at European Scale. Environmental Science & Policy, 51: 23-34.
Panagos, P., Ballabio, C., Poesen, J., Lugato, E., Scarpa, S., Montanarella, L., Borrelli, P. 2020. A Soil Erosion Indicator for Supporting Agricultural, Environmental and Climate Policies in the European Union. Remote Sensing. 12: 1365. DOI: 10.3390/rs12091365