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HomeFarming NewsSoil analysis: 7 timely tips for farmers
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Soil analysis: 7 timely tips for farmers

As fertiliser costs continue to rise, carrying out soil analysis this month should be the priority, writes CAFRE’s Richard Gibson.

Only take soil samples when you have not applied fertiliser, slurry, manure, or lime for at least 12 weeks.

If you plan to apply slurry to grassland soon after the closed period ends, take soil samples first.

Soil analysis

When sampling soil:

  • Always use a corer. Never use a spade or lift a handful of soil from a ploughed field. A poor sample is worse than none at all;
  • Take cores down to 75 mm for grassland and 150 mm for arable;
  • Also, take cores from the field by crossing it in a ‘W’ pattern;
  • Collect 20 cores from the field, bulk them together, mix and put a sub-sample in a labelled sample bag/box;
  • Do not sample near water troughs, gates, headlands, trees, dung or urine patches or areas where stock shelter;
  • Each sample should not represent more than four hectares. Divide large fields, noting and sampling each area separately;
  • Do not put cores from different soil types together in a sample.
Where to source kits?

Soil augers are available for loan from DAERA Direct offices on an appointment basis only.

Contact your local office either by phone (0300 200 7840) or email to arrange collection and return of augers.

Soil sampling kits are also available from your local office. You can collect them, or we can post them to you.

After taking the soil samples, place them in the pre-paid envelope provided as part of the sampling kit and post them directly to NRM.

Yara’s fossil-free fertilisers to hit the market in 2023

In other news, Yara and Lantmännen have signed a commercial agreement to bring fossil-free fertilisers to the market.

They began testing the commercial viability of green fertilisers three years ago with a common goal to realise the world’s first fossil-free food chain.

The collaboration has resulted in a commercial contract for green fertilisers.

Yara will produce the fertilisers, and Lantmännen will market them in Sweden starting in 2023.

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