HUMUS+Slovenija - HÖGI takes off!


From December 1st, 2017 to April 30th, 2018, a preparatory project funded as part of the LEADER 2014-2020 project ran with the support of the LAG Zeitkultur Oststeirisches Kernland. Based on this, a transnational LEADER 2014-2020 implementation project entitled "Humus Project Ökoregion goes International (HÖGI)" was submitted, which started at the beginning of October 2020 and ran until the end of July 2022.

With the HUMUS+ LEADER project, the goal of a comprehensive, Europe-wide soil improvement was pursued through the build-up of humus on agricultural crops and pastures.

The HUMUS+ build up project is to be implemented for the first time in our neighboring country Slovenia. The LAG Bogastvo podeželja from the Ptuj region are project partners and look forward to benefiting from the experience, know-how and database of the Kaindorf ecoregion and HUMUS+.


Project details "HÖGI - Humusaufbau Ökoregion Kaindorf goes international":


Project executing  Organisation Austria:

HUMUS+ Modell Ökoregion Kaindorf GmbH

Project partner Austria:

LEADER Büro Zeitkultur oststeirisches Kernland

Delimax GmbH

Energieregion Oststeiermark GmbH


Project executing  Organisation Slovenija:

Društvo Bogastvo Podeželja, Ptuj

Project partner Slovenija:

LAS Bogastvo podeželja

LAS Ovtar slovenskih goric in

LAS Obsotelje in Kozjansko ter avstrijski

KGZS Zavod Ptuj

komunalno podjejte Rogaška slatina


The interpretation is provided by Mr. Tomaž Dietinger and Mrs. Andreja Pignar Tomanič.

The project is supported and financed by federal, state and EU funds.



After the start of the project had to take place at the beginning of 2021 due to the restrictions, we were all the happier to welcome all Slovenian project participants (consisting of the project managers of the LAG Bogastvo, representatives of the agricultural office in Ptuj, as well as samplers and laboratory staff) in July in the municipal office, Kaindorf. The focus of the meeting was the coordination of quality standards with our project partners. We are particularly happy about the willingness of the analysis laboratory in Ptuj, which is currently in development, to carry out the analysis of the humus content according to the Austrian AGES standard. The soil investigations carried out as part of the program are therefore also comparable with our long-term data and will help us in the future to get an even better and more detailed picture of important factors in humus formation.


The project aims to expand and internationalize the humus building program with three main goals:


• Extension of existing knowledge and methods for humus formation through international expertise

• Pilot test of the transnational humus development program in Slovenia on areas of at least 300 hectares.

• Development of a comprehensive international humus database based on certified sampling.


The expected results of the HÖGI LEADER project can be summarized as follows:

• Annual CO2 binding in the build-up humus of 1800 tons in the short term (end of project) and in the medium term (after 5 years) a total CO2 storage of 8000 tons

• Increase in regional added value through CO2 certificate trading and increased tourism through establishment as an expert region for humus formation in Slovenia.

• Integration of international best-practice methods for humus formation and further measures and know-how to increase the efficiency of the HUMUS+Program.

• Establishment of long-term networks and partnerships on the topic of humus both with the regions involved and with other interested regions.

• Completion of a comprehensive, internationally unique humus database for research projects and other innovative applications.

• Development of an easily expandable transnational humus building program with a focus on its transferability and functionality.

The development of a training program on the subject of humus formation was part of the project agreement. For this purpose, programs with further training opportunities were created for the years 2021 and 2022.


Events that took place as part of the project implementation:

28.9.2021: Workshop by Gerald Dunst on the topic "Success factors in humus formation":


The conditions under which humus build-up actually occurs are derived from experience reports from the past 10 years and findings from soil data from humus farmers throughout Austria. Nitrogen plays a central role here. The seminar conveys the basic knowledge of how to determine the possible build-up of humus. In the practical part, the farm of a humus farmer is visited and measures are discussed that lead to a successful and sustainable improvement of the soils and humus contents.

18.10.2021: Expert workshop on "nitrate leaching and land consolidation" by the Slovenian expert Ivan Brodnjak from the Institute of Agriculture and Forestry, Ptuj:

As part of the LEADER program, there was an exchange of expertise between Austria and Slovenia. The Slovenian expert Ivan Brodnjak visited Kaindorf as part of this knowledge exchange. The event was translated by Andreja Pignar Tomanič.

After the lecture there was a lively exchange between the participants and the experts about the differences between the two countries, the different conditions and methods.

07.10.2021: Press conference and signing of the cooperation agreement in Slovenia, Ptuj

The official contract signing of the cooperation took place on Thursday, October 7th, 2021 at 10 a.m. after the press conference

15.7.2021: Training meeting for the Slovenian project partners in Slovenia:

As part of the project implementation, the Slovenian soil samplers were trained by DI Florian Forcher in taking soil samples.



23.8.2021: Database incorporation for the Slovenian project partners:

As part of the project implementation, the Slovenian project participants were trained in using the database. The induction took place in 2 meetings in Slovenia and was carried out by the project partner of DELIMAX. Part of the transnational LEADER project was to expand this existing database for international use and to translate it for our partners in Slovenia.



8.10.2021: Further introduction to database usage





13.10.2021: Establishment of a partner country network

In order to make HUMUS+ even better known throughout Europe, the project also attempted to initiate further possible cooperations for the future. In the course of this, Maschinenring Deutschland visited Kaindorf with representatives from several branches to find out more about the project and the subject of humus. In addition to a presentation of the project by the project manager Mag. Jochen Buchmaier, there was also the opportunity for lively exchange and discussion as well as a visit to an agricultural area. Forms of possible cooperation were also discussed during the event.



May 30, 2022: Final meeting at the HUMUS+Days 2022 in Kaindorf

Fortunately, the HUMUS+Days could take place on site again in 2022. On May 30th and 31st, 2022, national and international experts and practitioners gathered in the Kulturhalle in Kaindorf and exchanged views on the latest findings in the fields of humus, regenerative agriculture and agroforestry in the context of lectures and a panel discussion.

The event was also the closing event of the HÖGI "Humus Ökoregion Kaindorf Goes International" LEADER project with the partners from Slovenia. The results of the cooperation and prospects were presented. The Slovenian partners also brought 15 of the farmers involved in the project to the event. With the presentation of the cooperation certificate, the joint project found a dignified and celebratory conclusion during the event.



The major goals to be implemented through HÖGI:


  1.      Knowledge exchange and citizen participation: Knowledge transfer on the methods of humus formation in agriculture
  2.      Technology transfer:  Implementation of a humus database in the project region
  3.      Pilot project: Implementation of the HUMUS+Program in Slovenia with the participation of 30 farmers in the region

Expected long-term results

  1.      Strengthened networks and sustainable knowledge transfer between partners, farmers and citizens
  2.      Increased public awareness of humus as a chance in climate protection
  3.      A transnational humus database
  4.      Establishment of the humus program in Slovenia