Land that is low in lime gets sour, and sheep don’t like grazing it, according to Peadar Coyle.

Peadar, who was speaking at last week’s Irish Grassland Association’s (IGA) farm walk on his farm alongside his daughter Aoife, really believes in the use of lime on his farm.

“I was always a big believer in lime and the benefits it brings to the land,” he told th day’s attendees.

“Without lime, land gets sour and my approach with lime is to ‘spread little and often’.”

“I remember one time I put sheep out of a good field of grass and I noticed how unsettled they were in it,” he continued.

“I couldn’t understand and it wasn’t until I spoke to my local advisor who advised to me to carry out a soil test that it was badly in need of lime.

“In fact, it needed 8t of lime but I put out 2t and it did a great job on it and anytime sheep went in after they were much happier.

“You would hope that if you look after the land that it will return the favour and look after you,” he said.

In terms of managing soil fertility Peadar soil-samples all the paddocks every three years.

The majority of the home block of ground is in index 3 and 4 for phosphorus (P) and potassium (K).

“P and K are targeted in low index paddocks in spring and lime is spread annually to low pH paddocks,” said Peadar.

“Silage ground receives nitrogen, P and K in early April, along with some slurry. The outfarm, where we keep some sheep and dairy-beef animals and where all of the silage is produced, would have poorer soil-fertility compared to the home farm here.”