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Institute of

AK Climate-Smart Agriculture



© Thünen-Institut/AK

CarboCheck - A software tool to accumulate soil organic matter in agricultural soils

Agricultural soils have a huge potential to contribute to climate protection by acting as CO2-sinks. We are developing a software-tool, which allows specific agricultural soil management to accumulate soil organic matter. Visit the website here.

Background and Objective

Soils are the biggest terrestrial carbon sinks. Soil organic matter plays an important role for soil fertility and thereby contributes to stable yields. Management effects on soil organic matter are soil- and climate-dependent and thus only predictable with site specific models.

The software-tool CarboCheck enables farmers to realize an enrichment of organic matter in their soils. With high usability and no need for time-consuming data input, working with CarboCheck is supposed to be as easy as possible.


Firstly, the project will provide a tool to determine the initial soil organic matter content (CPix). Secondly, there will be a management-tool for balancing and accumulating soil organic matter (CarboCheck).

On basis of site specific soil and climate conditions plus soil color information, CPix calculates the actual soil carbon content. By taking a photograph with her/his smartphone, the user of the Cpix-App instantly receives information on the amount of soil organic matter.

With information of the actual soil organic matter content, site specific conditions and agricultural management, modelling of the development of soil organic matter is done in cooperation with the UFZ Halle. Embedded in the widely-used agricultural software of HELM-Software, no additional data input is necessary for the user to get a rating of his soil organic matter balance. This rating will come in three valuation classes: 'soil organic matter loss', 'no change in soil organic matter content', 'soil organic matter accumulation'. Also, management recommendations to enrich soil organic matter (e.g. by certain catch crops) are given. CarboCheck will also come as an open-access, independent, browser-based tool requiring manual data input.

Links and Downloads

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE)
    (national, öffentlich)


7.2018 - 5.2022

More Information

Project funding number: 28-1-B3.023-16
Project status: ongoing

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