Soil sample results have been taken across all of the Footprint Farms and the results are back.

While there have been mixed results when it comes to phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) levels, there seems to have been a steady increase in pH across the farms.

This is really positive, as soil pH has an important role to play in maintaining soil fertility.

By maintaining pH of grassland at the optimum level of 6.3 to 6.5, farmers will increase the microbiological activity of the soil, which will result in better nutrient recycling and release.

Soil pH is crucial for maximising the availability of nutrients, such as nitrogen (N), P and K.

Tipperary farm

On Barry Powell’s farm in north Tipperary, some areas saw a pH increase from 5.7 to 6.8. This is a very positive result for Barry and will ensure that he gets the best value from his fertiliser.

Since last soil sampling the farm in 2021, Barry has spread 180t of lime and this is reflected in the 2023 results.

Martin Crowe in Co Limerick also had some work to do to improve the pH across his farm.

In 2021, over 100ha of the farm had a pH of 6.2 or lower. This year’s results show a big improvement in pH across the farm.

This year, there are only 23ha with a pH of 6.2 or lower. This is a big improvement on Martin’s farm and will help him cut his artificial fertiliser bill.