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Location: Near Ballycanew, Co Wexford 
Size:  1,100 ha 
Farming:  Beef, dairying and spring barley
Soils:  Near the Mackamores - P is the main nutrient at risk of loss by overland flow
Rainfall:  906 mm per year 
More detail  

 Image of Ballycanew landscape

Agricultural Catchments Programme: Ballycanew, County Wexford

This catchment is 1,191 ha in area and grassland makes up approximately 78% of the landuse with 20% in tillage and the balance in woodland and other uses. The main grassland-based farm enterprises are beef production and dairying with some sheep production and sport horses. Spring barley is the main tillage crop with small areas of other cereals.

The dominant soils in the lowland of this catchment are surface water gleys, mostly belonging to the Kilrush and Macamore soil series. These soils are derived from end-morainic and marine deposits of heavy muds giving them poor drainage characteristics. The drainage in this area has been improved somewhat by the owners through tile and mole drainage. The soils on the elevated land to the southern catchment boundary are non-calcarious brown earths over slate and shale geology. Tillage in the catchment is limited to this area. With good management the heavy soils in the catchment are well suited to grassland farming and dairying is expanding in the area.

Landscape of grass-based farming with sheep in photo

Based on the type of soil and subsoil in this catchment phosphorus would be considered to be the main nutrient at risk of loss to water in the heavy lowland soils. The main pathway for loss would be through overland flow during heavy rain events.

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