Free soil sampling scheme launched in western Northern Ireland

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced it will open up a free soil sampling and analysis scheme for farmers in parts of Co. Tyrone and Fermanagh.

The Colebrooke & Strule Soil Testing and Training Initiative will be delivered by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) on behalf of DAERA.

Online registration for the scheme is currently open and will close at 12 noon on Friday, August 17.

The soil sampling service will provide participating farmers with detailed information on their soils, such as pH level and nutrient requirements for, Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K).

Boosting profitability

By optimising pH and applying slurry, manure and chemical fertiliser in line with crop need, farmers can maximise crop yields, increase soil fertility and increase farm profitability, while also improving environmental performance.

Participating farmers will also receive an invitation to attend two training workshops to help understand what their soil analysis report means and how to use it effectively to plan lime, manure and chemical fertiliser applications.

How to apply

There will be two components to the scheme:

  • Component 1 will be aimed at farmers within the six sub-catchments within the Colebrooke Water Bodies;
  • Component 2 will be aimed at farmers within four sub-catchments of the Strule Water Bodies.

To be eligible for this year’s scheme:

  • You must have a DAERA Farm Business ID number;
  • You must be a farmer registered in Northern Ireland with fields within one of the 10 sub-catchments;
  • You must provide the mandatory information required on the registration form;

To apply, or request further details on the scheme visit the project’s page on the AFBI website.