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 harvesting 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
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