Soil training workshops continue in Colebrooke and Strule catchments

Farmers in the Station House, Brookeborough having a well-earned cup of tea following their first workshop on soil fertility.
Farmers in the Station House, Brookeborough having a well-earned cup of tea following their first workshop on soil fertility.

Farmers participating in the Colebrooke and Strule Soil Testing and Training Initiative are continuing to attend their CAFRE training workshops this week, writes Hannah McNelis, Sustainable Land Management Branch, CAFRE.

The scheme continues to provide free soil analysis, co-ordinated by AFBI, for participating farmers in the two catchment areas.

Soil analysis and nutrient management planning are essential for planning lime, manure and chemical fertiliser applications on the farm. It ensures that the essential nutrients are supplied to the crop for production whilst also protecting water quality by reducing surplus nutrient inputs. The use of soil analysis on the farm can also help to reduce a farmer’s fertiliser bill. More emphasis should be placed on the value of slurry and manures to meet crop requirement and reduce the amount of chemical fertiliser needed.

As part of the scheme, farmers are also invited to two CAFRE Farm Family Key Skills training workshops on soil fertility and understanding their soil analysis.

Feedback from the training has been very positive over the weeks:

“Lime is definitely so important on the farm, I see great benefits in spreading it. Growth is better and cattle graze fields out better the following year.”

“I’ve learned tonight that I may not need P fertiliser going forward and this will definitely save me money. I wouldn’t have known that without a soils report.”

Training is continuing across the catchment areas until the end of March and all participants are encouraged to register their place for training if they have not already done so.

Once you receive your invitation letter you must contact AI Services to confirm your attendance. Alternative dates are available, details of which are included in your invitation letter, but must be pre-booked.

For further information and to book your place, contact AI Services on 028 9083 3123.