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Heavy Soils Programme

Objectives

  1. The establishment of a research programme to find the most cost effective and efficient means of increasing profitability on heavy soils.
  2. To establish commercially focused, expanding family farms demonstrating financially rewarding business growth.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. To hold regular farm focus days to provide timely, accurate and challenging information to help decision making.
  7. 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.
  8. Inform the dairy industry about activities and innovations in heavy soil dairying in order to increase overall profitability.