Name Case Study Site: Central Slovenia
Responsible partner: University of Ljubljana (UL)

 

Geographical description:
Latitude and longitude: 46.04919; 14.5007107
The Case study of Central Slovenia (2.555 km2) is located in the central part of Slovenia (300 m - 2.400 m altitude). CSS spread over on the fertile alluvial plains and of Sava river basin (central), Karst river of Ljubljanica (south), hilly area of Sora river basin (west) and mountainous area of Kamniško Savinjske Alpe (north). It has a moderate continental and sub-alpine humid climate (mean air temperature 10°C, annual precipitation 1400 mm). Land use: forest 59%, agriculture 32% (arable 27%, grassland 71%) and urban 8%.

LO Slovenia1

Almost 80% of the soils of flat areas were formed on fluvioglacial deposits of sand and gravel, and these soils represent >50% of all tilled fields. In the CCS, in the river basin of Sava, the parent material and soils are rich in bases, causing high pH (Eutric Fluvisol). The older, deeper, weathered brown soils (Eutric Cambisols) are formed above conglomerate or breccia with acid pH. Predominant agricultural sols are Fluvisols and Cambisols with heterogeneous soil texture, mainly loam and sandy loam, with gravel appearing either on the surface or below the ploughing layer. Some alluvial soils in the study area are classified as silty clay to silty clay loam with a moderately-gleyed layer between 30 cm and 70 cm below the surface of the soil and gravel material underneath. Almost 40% of Slovenia area is a nature protected area of which is 38% protected under Natura 2000. Almost 25% of Slovenia area is protected under Drinking Water Protection Zones of which is 30% on agricultural land.

Slovenia is quite specific due to its heterogeneous land owners structure and small parcels. It is quite hard to avoid cross-contamination via air, although anti-drift spraying technology is obligated. At the same time, soil or water contamination is monitored regularly. Erosion is limited. However, there is always a possibility to find a more isolated field.

Farms are obligated to take part in educational workshops if they want to obtain permission to buy PPP. Chamber of Agriculture mostly operates them.

LO Slovenia2

 

Main farming systems:
Family farms are typical for Central Slovenia (7.600 farms). The average farm has 10 ha of farmland. Farms are mixed and produce cash crops (silage and grain maise, wheat, barley, potato, vegetables for market), as well as fodder crops for animals, including second crops in the same year established after the harvest of winter cereals (fodder kale, oil radish, fodder rape, grass-clover mixtures, ryegrass). The cattle (dairy and suckler cows, bulls) farming predominates (61%) and is quite intensive; consequently, silage maise is grown in 40% of fields in a crop rotation. Honey production is widespread. Slovenia is a source of modern apiculture.

Main problems:
Small market - not all-important/the best PPPs are available for use in Slovenia.
New crop varieties resistant to pests have higher prices.
Residues in drinking water and food are problematic/water protection zones are spreading across arable areas.
Use of fungicides is vital as untreated product feed can have a high level of aflatoxins
Food monitoring in 2015 showed PPP 1.8% of samples
Loss of biodiversity is primarily connected to land-use change; however, the impacts of PPP on arable fields fauna in Slovenia was not studied yet.

FS Slovenia1FS Slovenia2FS Slovenia3FS Slovenia4

Ongoing research and innovation actions
EIP Operational groups

  • Plant health improvement; using drones to detect and eliminate plant diseases
  • Controlling feeding to improve the health of the cattle
  • Smart farming to predict plant health problems; introduction of hop varieties resistant to diseases; improve the health state of the local population with sharing knowledge and diversification of activities on farms connection to the health system
  • Environmentally efficient forage crops production; the importance of pollinators for fruit production; sustainable agricultural production in water protection zones, remote sensing for fertilisation optimisation

 

 Relevant stakeholders in the area:

  • Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry of Slovenia,
  • Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry and Food,
  • Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Food Safety, Veterinary Sector and Plant Protection
  • Ministry for Environment and Spatial Planning
  • Slovenian Environmental Agency
  • Ministry for Health
  • National Institute for Public Health
  • Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association
  • 25 Municipalities