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Aberdeenshire Soil and Nutrient Network Meeting – event summary

16 February 2017

The first meeting of the Aberdeenshire Soil & Nutrient Network

The first in a series of three meetings was opened by Paul Chapman, SAC Consulting, and host farmer Alan Maitland with a background to the farm at East Balhalgardy.

Soil specialists Gavin Elrick & Alex Sinclair took the group on a farm walk to discuss the farm soils ‘in the field’.  Whilst outdoors, the following topics were covered:

  • Examination of test pit to discuss soil structureGroup of farmers around a soil pit
  • Introduction of the VESS system for examining soil structure
  • Discussion of soil type and texture and implications for soil nutrient and pH management (particularly phosphorus sorption)
  • Discussion of GPS soil sampling results in relation to features within the field
  • Demonstration of manure spreading rates

Following lunch there was further discussion of pH management and the use of GPS soil sampling.  There was a high degree of interest and engagement from attendees (even regarding detailed soil chemistry).

Information relating to the meeting is available to download below.

For any further information on the Aberdeenshire Soil & Nutrient Network, please contact

Alex Sinclair giving a presentation about whole farm soil testing

Related Downloads
Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure (VESS) Score Chart
This is a downloadable copy of the Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure (VESS) score chart for use in-field.
Topics: Soils
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
Assessing Soil Texture
Topics: Soils
Assessing Your soils
This simple, quick soil test describes soil by comparing a spadeful with a reference chart.
Topics: Soils
Technical Note (TN656): Soil Information, Texture & Liming Recommendations
• Web based access to information on your soils on your farm is described. • Soil texture classes of mineral soils are described and identified by hand texturing. • Liming recommendations for different soils and managements are tabulated.
Topics: Soils
Technical Note (TN668): Managing Soil Phosphorus
Efficient soil P management is challenging due to the varying ability of soils to mediate and regulate plant available forms of P. Farmers and land managers in Scotland are now able to access farm level information about their soils making it possible to provide more accurate P management advice.
Topics: Crops and Soils
Group of farmers around a soil pit

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