Well I heard another good one during the week when I was checking my soil samples to see what damage fertiliser was going to do.

If I take a soil sample on 14 September it is only valid for three years, but if I take it on 15 September it’s valid for four years and will satisfy the inspector.

So, anyone trying to be a bit organised or sowing grass or winter barley and testing before 15 September won’t get the full value out of that sample, as it will only last three years.

Apparently the rule is there as the 15 September is the closed period for spreading artificial fertiliser, but sure we can spread farmyard manure until the end of October and we can spread lime and potash all year round.

Should the four years not be from the date of sampling? We all have different farm setups and soil sampling requirements.

It’s another date to remember and another rule to cause confusion.

If they’re out of date you could be in bother on low index P soils. It all seems a bit unnecessary.