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Skye Soil & Nutrient Network Meeting – event summary

25 March 2017

The first Soil & Nutrient Network meeting on Skye

The first meeting, was held at Waternish Farm, courtesy of Montgomery family.

The meeting began with a look and discussion of the soil test results from the whole farm.  Soils had been tested for pH, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium & sulphur. Soil specialist Gavin Elrick also looked at areas that were a concern for compaction with silage harvestilooking at compaction in wheel tracksng in damp conditions.

The challenges facing this farm are shared by many in trying to balance environmental, production and economic goals.  All within the uncertain climate as a result of BREXIT.

A key challenge discussed was dealing with the compaction that may result from cutting silage later in the season to benefit corncrakes.

The soil in Skye is often acidic and low in phosphorous and attendees expressed a wish to look at various solutions to remedy this and their associated costs.

Soil invertebrates are important for the many birds found on Waternish Farm (see the farm’s bird survey here).  Looking forward,  as a part of the network meetings we will be measuring both worm and invertebrate activity to see how the soil could be improved to benefit both grass production and wildlife.

If you would like more information on the Skye Soil & Nutrient Network, please call the SAC Consulting Office in Portree on 01478 612993.

                 Discussing the depth that soil compaction needs to be dealt with                                                                     Orange particles in the soil denotes water logging

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