An indicator to reflect the mitigating effect of Common Agricultural Policy on soil erosion

This study presents the updated version of the recently published LANDUM model [Land Use Policy 48, 38–50 (2015)]. LANDUM is integrated into the 100 m resolution RUSLE-based pan-European soil erosion risk modelling platform of the European Commission. It estimates the effects of local land use and management practices on the magnitude of soil erosion across each NUTS2 region of the European Union. This is done based on a spatially explicit estimation of the so-called cover-management factor of (R)USLE family models which is also known as C-factor. In this updated version, the data on soil conservation measures (i.e., reduced tillage, cover crops and plant residues) reported in the latest EU Farm Structure Survey (2016) were integrated and elaborated in LANDUM in order to estimate the changes of the C-factor in Europe between 2010 and 2016. For 2016, a C-factor of 0.2316 for the arable land of the 28 Member States of the European Union was estimated. This implies an overall decrease of C-factor of ca. -0.84 % compared to the 2010 survey. The change in C-factor from 2010 to 2016 could be an indication for the effectiveness of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) soil conservation measures in reducing soil erosion in Europe, especially key CAP policies such as Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions and Greening.