Objectives - Heavy Soils Programme
- The establishment of a research programme to find the most cost effective and efficient means of increasing profitability on heavy soils.
- To establish commercially focused, expanding family farms demonstrating financially rewarding business growth.
- To install and demonstrate the most appropriate drainage solution on a 2-3 Ha plot on each programme farm. Intensive recording and monitoring of a range of variables will be undertaken to research the effectiveness, life span and cost benefits of the various drainage solutions.
- To carry out a whole farm evaluation of soil fertility on each programme farm through annual soil sampling and recording of all mineral inputs and off-takes to monitor change over time.
- To establish a lime application trial, on three programme farms with heavy mineral soils, to investigate the relative effectiveness of ground limestone and granular limestone in raising soil pH and nutrient supply.
- To hold regular farm focus days to provide timely, accurate and challenging information to help decision making.
- To provide guidance in the design, construction and operation of new low cost grass-based dairy farm infrastructure, incorporating the most efficient and cost effective technologies for land and pasture improvement.
- Inform the dairy industry about activities and innovations in heavy soil dairying in order to increase overall profitability.