Climate ActionEnvironmentSmart Farming

Smart Farming: Soil Fertility

Soil is the most important asset on any farm. As grass growth decreases from September the amount of nitrogen (N) taken up by grass growth reduces.  Any N not used by grass is prone to leaching after rain especially in areas with free draining soils.

To make the most effective use of the nutrients in any remaining slurry it should be applied when the soil temperature is above 6 degrees and when the weather forecast is suitable. Under the new Nitrates Action Plan all slurry generated on a holding must be applied by 8th October 2022.

Correcting soil fertility can allow growth of 25% more grass. The ideal time to test your soil fertility is between October and February, waiting 3-6 months after the last application of P or K before sampling.

Soil should be tested every 3-5 years to measure soil fertility levels and manage nutrient and lime applications.

For more information on soil testing and soil fertility visit the Smart Farming Soil Fertility section here

Smart Farming is a voluntary resource efficiency programme, run by the Irish Farmers’ Association in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Related Articles