Observatoire : SOERE-PRO

Observatoire : SOERE-PRO

Long term field experiment network for research on the recycling of organic residues in agriculture


The SOERE PRO is a network of long-term field experiments dedicated to the study of organic residue (OR) application in agriculture. It has been created to evaluate benefits and risks associated to organic residue application in agriculture.

The SOERE PRO provides data (1) to better evaluate the effects of regular OR application on organic matter dynamic and potential C storage in soils, biogeochemical cycles of nutrients (C, N, P), fate of potentially present chemical and biological contaminants, soil biological activities; (2) simulate the long-term consequences of regular application and integrate them in environmental analysis that will allow to (3) test various alternative scenarios of application.

Long-term field experiment network :

The experimental sites allow measuring the long-term evolution of the agro-system after repeated applications of organic residues derived from urban and agricultural activities (sludge, composts, manures) and undergoing various treatments (none, composting, anaerobic digestion). The SOERE PRO network involved different research institutes and collaborations with concerned professional partners. The SOERE PRO sites are managed to provide field experiments to support research programs (ex. FP7 GENESIS, ADEME Bioindicateurs, ANR Isard, ANR CESA CEMABS, SNOWMAN, PhD works).

historical sites are associated to SOERE PRO as sites representing a resiliency context as OR spreading stopped and comparing residues with high contamination levels: La Bouzule and Couhins.

Since 2013, 2 other sites have been added under tropical conditions: one on-going site located in La Reunion island and one historical site located in Burkina Faso.

3 on-going sites of the SOERE PRO network are involved in ANAEE-France (http://www.anaee-s.fr/):

  • QualiAgro located in the Paris basin comparing urban composts and manure (started in 1998)
  • EFELE located in Brittany comparing different manures (started in 2012)
  • Colmar located in north east of France comparing composted and non-composted residues) (started in 2000).

Analyses and measurements

On the 4 on-going sites, the same instrumentations are installed to monitor the hydrodynamic functioning of soil: TDR probes, tensiometers, temperature sensors, lysimeters. Climatic data are monitored on all sites. Gaz emissions (N2O, CO2) are followed by gas measurement chambers.
 On the 4 on-going sites, the applied organic residues, soils, crops and waters (rains and leached waters) are sampled and analysed similarly (parameters, analytical methods, laboratories). 

Data and sample management

Data management is centralized at the SOERE PRO level with the development of web interfaces (data integration and extraction) and data bases for field experiment data, analytical data of organic wastes applied in France and for traçability information concerning SOERE PRO samples. The information system is developed by INRA computer engineers devoted to develop and manage the information systems of the INRA long-term observatories (INRA Orléans).

Samples of OR, soil and crops are long-term stored under harmonized conditions to allow future analyses and/or investigations by scientists.       


Modification date : 08 September 2023 | Publication date : 17 November 2016 | Redactor : S. Houot and A.Michaud