Soil sampling…when ground conditions improve

While many fields are too wet to take a stroll through it is important to keep in mind that autumn is a time for soil sampling. However, soil test results will most likely give a more accurate reading if you wait until ground conditions improve.

If ground is too wet to work or graze, it is generally too wet to sample.

However, the wet weather won’t stop you from pricing around different soil sample costs. Prices vary between companies and between soil tests – depending on the level of detail needed.

It is also good to book your spot if someone is taking the samples for you, as there will most likely be a queue when ground conditions improve.

Planning

Having soil test results early in the season allows for planning and ensures that you get your soil ready for the season ahead.

Lime may need to be applied to soil, while early detection of changes to soil indices also means that a plan can be made to improve soil indices and ensure nutrients are used efficiently.

Knowing what fertiliser needs to be ordered early in the season also gives some choice as to when fertiliser may be purchased and gives opportunities to take advantage of the market if there is one.

Malting barley farmers

Farmers who supply barley to Boortmalt should also take advantage of the special offer on soil samples provided by Teagasc and Boortmalt’s joint programme.

Suppliers of the company will be able to avail of soil samples at a cost of €15/sample on their malting barley area. Anyone interested should contact their local Teagasc or Boortmalt advisor.

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