Soil fertility discussed at Fermanagh meeting

SOIL TESTING RI Farm
CHAT: Ruth Moore, Beef and Sheep Development Adviser CAFRE with Business Development Group host Brendan Gallagher, group member Ian Brown and Bryan Irvine from the Sustainable Land Management Branch preparing to discuss soil fertility and soil nutrient management in Springfield, Co Fermanagh.

THE Fermanagh Business Development Group’s suckler group was recently hosted by member Brendan Gallagher on his farm near Springfield, County Fermanagh.

Brendan manages a suckler cow herd, breeding all his own replacements. In the past few years Brendan has soil sampled a considerable proportion of his land to allow him to manage grassland production.

Bryan Irvine from the Sustainable Land Management Branch joined the group to discuss soil fertility and nutrient management. Using soil analysis results Bryan and the group looked at the merits of applying lime to maintain the correct pH of 6-6.5 for grassland.

The group then assessed the soil structure across a number of plots on the farm considering mineralised soils and peaty ground and how each will be managed.

A well-structured soil should encourage rooting of the crop, airflow through the soil and drainage and as spring approaches now is the ideal time to consider assessing soil fertility and planning for this year’s crop requirements.

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