Johnstown Castle is Ireland’s leading research centre for soils and the rural environment. The centre conducts research on soils, nutrient efficiency, recovery and losses; air and water quality; the agricultural environment and agro-ecology. The research results generated are used widely by advisors, farmers, scientists and policy makers.
Johnstown Castle has state-of-the-art laboratory facilities in order to support the research programme with soil, water, plant, air and microbiological analyses. The laboratories maintain a key interest in the national soil fertility status and are heavily involved in all aspects of soils and crop nutrition.
The Johnstown Castle estate covers approximately 400 hectares of which 250 hectares are farmland, the balance being forestry, parkland, and lakes. There are three research farms on the estate:
- A dairy farm
- A bull beef farm
- the remainder of the land is used for research on slurry, phosphorus and nitrogen.
The farms have also been instrumented to trace water movement through and over soils. These enterprises facilitate field experiments and research on environmental aspects of farming.