The International Soil Tillage Research Organization (ISTRO) was founded on 27 September 1973 and is organized as a nonprofit, scientific, and education corporation. It is registered in The Netherlands according to Dutch law.


The goals of ISTRO are:
  • to promote contacts among scientists undertaking research in soil tillage and field traffic and their relationship with the soil environment, land use and crop production,
  • to stimulate scientific research in the domain of soil tillage and related fields, and
  • to further the application of the results of such research into agricultural practice.

Board ISTRO 2015 - 2018
Name Address Image
Jean Roger-Estrade

Professeur d'Agronomie

AgroParisTech, département SIAFEE
Bâtiment EGER - BP 01
78850 Thiverval-Grignon

Tel : 06 88 13 18 16


Dr. Blair McKenzie
Secretary General

James Hutton Institute
Invergowrie, Dundee, DD2 5DA,
Scotland, U.K.
Phone: +44 1382 568 529
Fax: +44 1382 568 502
web address:

Stephen A. Prior

411 S. Donahue Dr .
Auburn , AL 36832 USA
Tel: (334) 502-2711
email: click here
Website: click here

Lars Munkholm
Assistant Secretary General

Aarhus University
Department of Agroecology
Blichers Allé 20, P.O. Box 50
DK-8830 Tjele
Phone: +45 8715 7727
Mobile: +45 2515 2716

Nicholas Holden

University College Dublin
Tel: +353 1 7167777 (ext 7460)
web address:
Dr. Xinhua Peng
Past President

Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Nanjing, 210008
People’s Republic of China

Tel: +86 25 8688 1028
Fax: +86 25 8688 1000

Ranjan Bhattacharyya
Board Member

CESCRA, NRL Building
ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa New Delhi 110 012
Tel: +91-11-25843375

Organization webpage:
E-mail id:

Hubert Boizard
Board Member

2 Chaussée Brunehaut Estrées-Mons
80203 Péronne cedex, France
Phone: +33 322842667
Mobile: +33 695041266

Joshua O. Olaoye
Board Member

Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, University of Ilorin,
P. M. B. 1515, Ilorin 240001,
Tel: +234 803 581 2797

Jose Terra
Board Member

Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria (INIA-Uruguay)

Research Program Director of Production and Environmental Sustainability.

Estación Experimental del Este
Ruta 8 km. 281, Treinta y Tres
33000, URUGUAY

Phone: (598) 4452 5703/04 Ext. 1206
Mobile: (598) 99 240 113
Fax: (598) 4452 5701

Activities of ISTRO include: sponsoring an international conference every three years on soil tillage and related subjects,

  • Sponsoring relevant workshops, excursions and demonstrations,
  • Sponsoring meetings of national and regional branches of ISTRO,
  • Promoting cooperation with national and international organizations in other fields of science with similar general purposes such as the International Union of Soil Science (IUSS) and the World Ploughing Organization (WPO), and
  • Providing scientific support for the international journal Soil & Tillage Research in which the regular bulletin of news and information, ISTRO-INFO, is published.


New Approaches
Soil use and management, “tillage”, is one of the major factors of agricultural production.  The diversity of soil and climatic conditions throughout the world has led to the development of various farming systems to match husbandry requirements of crops grown in a given area.  Economic considerations and, in more recent years, also environmental concerns, have made it imperative to re-examine the technologies employed in tillage.  Current topics at ISTRO symposiums and conferences vary from the traditional to futuristic agriculture.  Because of the impact of agriculture on the environment, agricultural scientists are seeking new approaches to identifying total systems of soil use and management for crop and livestock production that take into account the protection of the environment, energy expenditures, economics, and associated aspects of farming.

History of Conferences
The very first international soil tillage conference in 1955, at Uppsala, Sweden was organized by Prof. Gunner Torstensson. Subsequent conferences were held in 1958 ( Stuttgart Hohenheim, Germany), 1962 (Doorwerth, The Netherlands), 1965 ( Aas, Norway), 1970 ( Silsoe, UK) and 1973 (Wageningen, The Netherlands).

At the 1973 conference, to ensure continued interaction among tillage workers, ISTRO was founded. To provide historical perspective to past tillage-related conferences, the conference in Wageningen in 1973 was designated the 6th International Conference.

Subsequently, ISTRO has held international conferences every three years. Beginning in 1976, the ISTRO conferences were held at three year intervals in Uppsala ( Sweden), Stuttgart-Hohenheim ( Germany), Osijek ( Croatia), Guelph ( Canada), Edinburgh ( Scotland), Ibadan ( Nigeria), Aalborg ( Denmark), Pulawy ( Poland) and Fort Worth, Texas, USA. The most recent ISTRO conference was held in 2003 at Brisbane ( Australia).

Recent Conferences

  • The 16th Conference was held in Brisbane, Australia in the year 2003.  The Conference theme was, Soil Management for Sustainability.
  • The 17th Conference was held in Kiel, Germany in 2006.  The Conference theme was, Sustainability – It’s Impact on Soil Management and Environment.
  • The 18th Conference was held in Izmir, Turkey in 2009.  It’s theme was "Sustainable Agriculture".
  • The 19th Conference was held in Uruguay, Montevideo 2012.
  • The 20th Conferecne was held in China, Nanjing in 2015.

ISTRO Interest Areas

ISTRO has identified eight specific areas, called ISTRO Interest Areas, in which members may identify themselves.

These Interest Areas include:

  • Soil Physics,
  • Soil and Water Management,
  • Soil Chemistry,
  • Environmental Quality,
  • Soil Biology and Biochemistry,
  • Tillage Implements,
  • Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition,
  • Crop Protection

More information about activities concerning these Interest Areas can be found on the Working Groups page (click the Working groups tab from the menu above).

ISTRO supports two different types of publications:

  • ISTRO-INFO is published 4 – 6 times per year and provides a means of rapid communication of new developments in tillage, upcoming meetings, and relevant research and technology results that have application to soil tillage. ISTRO-INFO acts also as a bulletin of news and information about progress in soil tillage research in its broadest sense and of other matters of interest to the membership of ISTRO.
  • The research journal Soil & Tillage Research is published by Elsevier in collaboration with ISTRO.

More information on publications and downloads can be found on the publications page.

Soil & Tillage Research
This journal is concerned with changes in the physical, chemical, and biological parameters of the soil brought about by tillage and field traffic, their effects on crop establishment, root development and plant growth, environmental quality and their interactions. Soil & Tillage Research is abstracted/ indexed in Agricultural Engineering Abstracts, Biological Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts, Current Contents, The Science Citation Index, Environmental Periodicals Bibliography, and Soils & Fertilizers.

Titles of recent issues of the journal can be scanned and searched on the journal's Home Page on the World Wide Web ( htt p:// or HERE).

ISTRO members are eligible to subscribe to Soil & Tillage Research at a special rate. In 2005, the annual member subscription rate is US$75/year, including postage. One does not need to be a member of ISTRO to publish in Soil & Tillage Research. For guidelines please consult the Guide on the journal's Home Page.

The journal Soil & Tillage Research is published by Elsevier in collaboration with ISTRO.


ISTRO welcomes as members all persons and institutions interested in the study or application of soil tillage and related subjects. ISTRO has approximately 700 members in more than 70 countries. There are five categories of membership: individual, student, corporate, honorary, and retired members.

  • Individual membership fees are (in US dollars) $21/year (base membership fee)
  • or $96/year (base membership fee plus subscription to Soil & Tillage Research journal).
  • Membership fee is reduced to US$ 7 for members from Low-Income, Lower-Middle-Income and Upper-Middle Income Economies as defined on the World Bank website.
  • Corporate members pay $84/year (base fee which includes one voting and three nonvoting members).
  • Retired members pay $7/year.
  • Students pay $7/year.

Membership application is done trough the membership page.

Working Groups

ISTRO has identified eight specific areas, called ISTRO Interest Areas, in which many members identify themselves.  These include:  Soil Physics, Soil and Water Management, Soil Chemistry, Environmental Quality, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Tillage Implements, Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition, and Crop Protection.

Currently active working groups include:

Working Group A: Soil Structure
Alvin Smucker ( and Rainer Horn (
Working Group B: Subsoil Compaction
Thomas Keller ( (chair) Mathieu Lamande ( (secretary)

Working Group F. Visual Soil Examination and Evaluation
Rachel Guimarães ( Lars Munkholm ( (secretary)

Working Group H. Tillage Erosion
Tom Schumacher (president); Goswin Heckrath; David Lobb (website)

Working Group J. Resource-Conserving Planting Systems  For Developing Country Agriculture (closed in 2006).
Jeff Tullberg.

Working Group K. Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF)
Tim Chamen (  

National Branches of ISTRO

ISTRO has been actively involved in registering Branches in countries which will benefit from local organization.  The formal registration of an ISTRO Branch offers several advantages and opportunities to scientists desiring to become part of the global network of agricultural scientists.  ISTRO Membership fees are reduced to only 1/3 of the regular base fee for low-economy countries, local currency can be collected and pooled within a country to facilitate payment of fees, and Branch activities bring local scientists together for a meeting at least once a year.  Branch members have full voting rights and are considered full Members within ISTRO. 

The International Soil Tillage Research Organization branches have been formed in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia/St. Petersburg, Slovakia, Turkey, and Ukraine.  Additional branches are in the process of formal formation and others are expected as interested ISTRO members organize themselves.

Some National branches have their own websites;

CZECH Branch


please click on the links above to access the seperate webpages.

The ISTRO constitution and Bylaws can be downloaded HERE.