At the second of the Argyll Women in Agriculture meetings, we went back to the basics of soil health and nutrition; what is soil made of, what nutrients can be found in soil and their purpose for plant growth, the importance of the soil pH and what can cause soil health issues.
Key messages from the session were:
- Soil analysis is very important- know your soil status as this can save you time and money
- Concentrate on getting the pH to optimum level for the soil type- the correct pH can naturally release nutrients and aid grass growth
- Remember to replace nutrient off-take from silage and grazing crops.
- Farm yard manure is a valuable source, use it to it’s best potential to save inorganic fertiliser costs
A copy of Trevor Polley’s presentation can be found below.
Helen Bibby, Conservation Consultant SAC Consulting, led a session on the importance of pollinators and what can be done to help improve habitats for these valuable species.
Take home messages from Helen included:
- Bees are not the only insects which carry out pollination; flies, moths, butterflies and beetles are also pollinators.
- Pollinators require food sources early and late into the season as well as in the height of summer
- To help protect bees you could:
- Create wildflower areas (no area is too small)
- Protect field margins
- Delay cutting clover lays until after flowering
A link to Helen’s Pollinators presentation can be found below.
Helen brought in a moth trap to display the type of moths that can be found in the area and all aid pollination.
- Better soil, better grass – 2018
- Topics: Soils
- Women in Agriculture presentation – Pollinators
- Topics: Climate Change and Women in Agriculture
- 10 Steps to Helping Pollinators on Small Units
- Topics: Crofts & Small Farms
- Practical Guide: Why and how to increase pollinators on your farm
- Topics: Climate Change
- 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: Crops and Soils, Soils, Climate Change and Water Management
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