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The benefits of soil sampling to farmers

The benefits of soil sampling to farmers

It is crucial that farmers take soil samples and analyse the findings to save money in 2022. Brendan Garry and John Noonan, Teagasc Mayo provide some advice and Edward Gibbons, local farmer discusses the benefits he has seen on his farm by taking soil samples over the years.

A key challenge in 2022 for all farmers will be to establish exact fertiliser requirements and to ensure maximum fertiliser efficiency is achieved with all fertilisers applied on farms.

The first step towards improving fertiliser efficiency starts with identifying current baseline farm soil fertility levels and this is best achieved through soil sampling. Through the use of soil sampling, the information provided in the soil analysis report provides key information on major nutrients such as Phosphorus, Potassium along with giving an indication of the lime requirement.

Maintaining the correct nutrient status of soil will improve the availability of nutrients and this is best achieved through regular applications of lime on farms. It is therefore crucial that farmers analyse the findings in these soil reports to save money in 2022 which will also act towards lowering agricultural emissions through improved availability of nutrients.

Edward Gibbon's experience of soil sampling

In this short video, John Noonan, Teagasc Westport visits a local farmer Edward Gibbons who farms in Carrownisky, Louisburgh, Co Mayo which is located on the Wild Atlantic Way. A number of years ago Edward soil sampled his farm on a field by field basis and found it very beneficial in planning his fertiliser requirements.

Edward noticed that by applying slurry in early Spring this has resulted in extra days at grass at both shoulders of the grazing season. By combining this along with regular lime applications, this has increased nutrient availability on his farm thereby reducing the volume of fertiliser purchased and through matching fertiliser usage with crop requirements Edward feels he has saved €750 each year as a result of soil sampling.

In 2022, Edward is committed towards using Protected Urea to reduce the emissions from his farm and now plans to re-sample fields to assess current nutrient status on his farm and now is an ideal time to carry out this task. 

For further information on soil sampling, contact your nearest Teagasc Office for assistance. View some advice on soils here or read an article on the importance of taking a proper soil sample or 5 Steps to taking a soil sample