Scoring the quality of Dutch soils

  • Do farmers manage their soils in a sustainable way?
  • How does the soil quality compared to the optimum or the regional average? 
  • How can farmers improve their soils? 
  • How can land-owners assure their soils are managed in a sustainable way? 

The Duch Open Bodem Index shows the soil quality of agricultural parcels through one overall soil index. This index is composed of 5 different aspects: chemical (e.g. pH, nutrient availability, physical (e.g. compaction, drainage), biology (e.g. microbiological activity), environment (e.g. nitrogen leaching) and management (e.g. use of catch crops, soil tillage). Basic data, sourced from many different data sets such as soil samples, visual observations, field management and open data sources, are converted into one index taking into account the local soil type and the desired soil service being sustainable crop production.  

Farmers and land-owners can consult the Open Bodem Index to explore the room to improve the parcel’s soil quality. They can also monitor the index over time to see how quality improves after taken specific measures. 

When would I choose this tool?
  • Farmer can monitor the quality of the soil in a systematic and objective manner. 
  • Farmer gains understanding in options to improve soil quality in a sustainable way. 
  • Land-owners and credit suppliers can underpin financial benefits to land users when they manage a minimum soil quality level. 
  • Government can monitor the overall agricultural soil quality in the Netherlands.
What are the main advantages?
  • The Open Bodem Index delivers one soil index presenting the integral soil quality of a parcel in a systematic and scientific sound manner.  
  • The soil index is based on an open and transparent methodology, functions and calculations. 
How do I apply?

The online application can be found at: In the public section, users can see a score of fields. Note this is not an accurate score, because regional averages of soil properties are used. 

As a farmer you can also register on this website: Farmers can use their own data to increase the accuracy of the score of their parcels.