Your soils are normally the foundation of your business so getting it right here will pay huge dividends across your business.
Derelict to Productive - Soil Sampling for CAGS
Taking on a new piece of ground that has been neglected for some time can often feel like an overwhelming obstacle, particularly for newer entrants with the financial costs being high and the effort required to turn the ground into more agriculturally favourable land. By utilising grant assistance, such as Crofting Agricultural Grant Scheme for crofters and the Small Farms Grant Scheme for eligible small holders, some of the financial burden can be lifted and the prospect of improving derelict ground becoming more viable. This video discusses the requirements for undertaking a grant application, focussed on a grassland reseed, that will help improve your croft or smallholding land.
Derelict to Productive - Soil Texture Structure
SAC Consultant Louisa Habermann talks through how to better understand the differences between soil texture and soil structure, how best to identify these soil characteristics, and details out methods of management and improvement to make the most out of this knowledge. This video will explain in detail the soil properties through looking at some reference fields and what the land conditions mean for that scenario.
Derelict to Productive: Drainage
The importance of drainage and maintaining drains can often be an overlooked step when managing croft ground. The benefits to spending time and effort into your field or croft drainage will see improvements in soil condition, reduce negative impacts such as waterlogging, soil poaching and compaction, erosion from water run off and will result in better forage growth through increased nutrient management. SAC Consultant and Isle of Lewis crofter Iain Murdo Macmillan talks through his steps and key points when considering assessing your drainage situation and speaks from his own experience.
Maintaining an appropriate pH balance in your soil is vital to ensure good growth. We've created a soil liming calculator to help you to decide what you need to apply to your fields.
Soil Liming: Why it is Important
Soil pH can have a huge effect on you soil's productivity. If your soil is too acidic then you can raise the pH by adding lime. Janette Sutherland, an agricultural consultant, talks us through soil liming.
Liming - An Island Perspective
The soil on your croft is a vital resource and one that can often be neglected. Soil & drainage expert, Gavin Elrick was a guest speaker at an event on South Uist. In this video, he gives us his key recommendations about managing soil pH from an island perspective.
Nitrogen Fixing in Peat Soil
Establishing nitrogen fixing plants such as clover can be vital to ensure you are then able to grow adequate forage. We hear from grassland specialist David Lawson from Scotland's Rural College about who you can achieve this in peat soils.
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