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Aberdeenshire Soil & Nutrient Network: 1st meeting – event summary

8 August 2018

This was the first meeting of the Aberdeenshire Soil & Nutrient Network Farm at Auchlossan.

In preparation, soil samples were taken over the farm allowing us a set of results to discuss and interpret during the meeting.  We also looked at the farm's soil series and types which generated a lot of positive discussion from the group

Slurry is a resource used on the farm which allowed a discussion surrounding the benefits of nutrient testing slurry prior to application and how this can help with the preparation and management of a farm nutrient budget.  The group then looked at how to best utilise muck and slurry to fit in with Auchlossan's enterprises.

On a more practical level, the meeting moved outdoors where Gavin Elrick, SAC's Soil and Drainage Consultant looked at a problem area in one of the fields.  Having highlighted a compaction issue Gavin got digging to illustrate his points.  There are a number of different options available to farmers to help alleviate soil compaction problems e.g. soil aerators, and sward lifters, and these were shown in action during the meeting.  However, it is important to know where in the soil profile your problem lies before deciding upon a remedy.  Gavin illustrated this by digging a track across areas where different remedy methods had been used and was able to show the group the soil profile, plant root structure and at what level each type of machinery was working at.  The key message here was to know where the compaction layers are and which piece of machinery will alleviate it before just picking what your neighbour or someone else has used!

A selection of handouts was available to take home from this event.  These and other relevant information are available to download using the links below.Photo showing the Valuing Your Soils Booklet on a concrete floor

This was the first of three meetings of the Aberdeenshire Soil & Nutrient Network.  There are 12 host farms across Scotland and you can read about their farm events from the Soil Management & Nutrient Network page.

All meetings are open to all, free to attend and attendance at previous events is not required to allow attendance at future meetings.


Related Downloads
Valuing Your Soils – Practical Guidance for Scottish Farmers
This brochure includes useful information about Scotland's agricultural soils and practical advice outlining the upfront financial savings and business benefits of better soil management and the efficient use of resources. Action and problem-specific 'field-sheets' are designed for busy farmers with limited time for reading.
Topics: Climate Change, Soils, Water Management and Crops and Soils
Practical Guide: Soil sampling I – How to take a soil sample
This practical guide details what is required to take a soil sample for analysis that is representative of the area sampled.
Topics: Climate Change, Soils and Water Management
Practical Guide: Soil sampling II – Benefits to your business
This practical guide details how soil sampling can benefit businesses by increasing productivity and create efficiencies on fertiliser inputs through better nutrient planning.
Topics: Climate Change, Soils and Water Management
Farming For A Better Climate: Practical Guide – Alleviating Soil Compaction
This Practical Guide gives some ideas on how to alleviate soil compaction.
Topics: Soils
Technical Note (TN656): Soils Information, Texture and Liming
This technical note offers information on soil, including classification, texture, PLANET Scotland and lime recommendations.
Topics: Soils
Technical Note (TN699): Agricultural use of Biosolids, Composts, Anaerobic Digestates and other Industrial Organic Fertilisers
Organic fertilisers such as biosolids, composts, anaerobic digestates and industrial wastes can be useful and cost-effective crop nutrient sources that can improve soil quality. This technical note outlines their use in agriculture.
Topics: Climate Change, Soils and Water Management
Gavin Elrick at Auchlossan examining soil profile

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