Free Soil Sampling and Analysis Service for Northern Ireland Livestock Farmers
As part of the EU’s Exceptional Adjustment Aid (EAA) Package, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), and/or their appointed contractor(s), are offering a time-limited soil sampling (including collection) and analysis service to Northern Ireland (NI) livestock farmers.
The service will provide participating farmers with detailed information on their soils in order to apply nutrients (i.e. N, P and K) in line with crop requirements. By applying slurry, manure and chemical fertiliser as efficiently as possible, farmers can maximise crop yields, increase soil fertility and increase farm profitability, with the potential to improve water quality.
Farmers are strongly encouraged to access the information/awareness support that will be made available pre-sampling on the benefits of knowing the soil status of their farm and also the training support after results are available.
 (Livestock farmers are defined in Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/1613 in the beef and veal, milk and milk products, pigmeat and sheepmeat and goatmeat sectors).
EU EAA Soil Sampling and Analysis Scheme details:
The scheme will be delivered in two components up to a maximum of 20,000 fields, limited by the available budget:
- Component 1 will be aimed at all NI livestock farmers and will be known as the “Open Scheme”.
- Component 2 will be targeted at farmers within parts of the Upper Bann catchment and will be known as the “Catchment Scheme”.
THE SCHEME IS NOW CLOSED FOR NEW APPLICATIONS.
AFBI may also continue to recruit farmers within the target sub-catchment areas beyond this date depending on initial uptake levels.
Successful applicants will be:
- Provided with a free soil sampling and analysis service, to include collection by AFBI, or their appointed agent, and analysis performed by an accredited laboratory.
- Sent individual soil analysis results, together with advice on lime and nutrient applications.
- Offered training pre and post soil sampling and advice in soil nutrient planning.
- Provided with additional information and advice on the potential for nutrient loss if their farm falls within the targeted sub-catchments of the Upper Bann catchment.
It is anticipated that the two components will initially be allocated a maximum of 10,000 fields each, subject to the level of interest across the scheme. However, service provision may be re-distributed across the scheme depending on uptake levels.
If the scheme is over-subscribed, AFBI will prioritise applications in specific Upper Bann sub-catchment areas, followed by random selection.
Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by 31st July.
Soil sampling will take place from November 2017 to February 2018 (primarily during the closed period for application of organic manures).
To be eligible:
- You must have a DAERA Farm Business ID number
- You must be a livestock farmer registered in Northern Ireland
- You must provide the mandatory information required by the registration form.
How AFBI will handle your personal information
For details on how AFBI will handle your personal information, please read the Privacy Notice for the scheme.