Soil Sampling In Fermanagh And Part Of Tyrone

Soil sample collection as part of the Soil Nutrient Health Scheme (SNHS) is continuing across Counties Fermanagh and Tyrone and will continue throughout April.

RPS staff setting out for a day of soil sample collection in Tyrone during the past winter

Soil samplers have endured extremely wet conditions both underfoot and overhead over this past winter.

Zone 2 covers farm businesses which registered online across west Co. Armagh, south Tyrone and all of Fermanagh.

Once sampled, farms will receive their soil analysis results and recommendations after four to six weeks through the post or by email from NRM, the analysis contractor.

By the end of January, more than 70,000 fields in Zone 2 had been sampled, with the current focus on intensive farmland, which is more likely to receive nutrient applications early in the season.

It is anticipated that Zone 2 completion will be in early Spring.

In addition to the soil analysis results, farmers will receive access to farm maps through DAERA online services which will include details of the nutrient, pH and soil organic matter levels in each field; identify areas within fields prone to nutrient loss via runoff to waterways; and an estimate of the amount of carbon stored in their soils, hedgerows and trees.

Training on Nutrient Management and the role of carbon on farms will be provided to all farmers by CAFRE.

This will be offered in both online and face-to-face formats and more information on this is available at

William Lee, of W. Lee and Sons, agricultural contractors, sowing lime in recent years

As the end of the closed period approaches, farmers who have not yet been sampled are requested to inform RPS, the sampling contractors, if and when they are planning to spread slurry and apply fertiliser in order to assist with the soil sampling schedule, and ensure samples are not collected within six weeks of application.

Please contact by telephone 028 9692 8388, or by email

All farmers who have received analysis will be invited to CAFRE SNHS training, which is divided into two parts: Understanding Nutrient Management, and Completing a Nutrient Management Plan.

Completing this training will be essential to secure payments in future years. The training can be completed in person and online.

(Source – Impartial Reporter – Farming – Brian Donaldson – 22/03/2024)

Soil Sampling Extension Under ACRES Due To Weather Conditions

The Department of Agriculture wrote to advisors in recent days confirming the extension. 

An extension has been announced for uploading soil sample results under tranche one of the Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES).

The Department of Agriculture wrote to advisors in recent days confirming the extension. 

“One of the key requirements of the ACRES application for tranche one participants is the submission of valid soil sample results before May 15, 2024. However, adverse weather in recent months has created difficult ground conditions to allow the capturing of suitable soil samples for analysis,” the department said.

“To allow participants more time to take samples and upload results, an extension has been granted to the submission deadline.”

ACRES tranche one participants now have until December 31, 2024, to upload valid soil sample results or soil sample exemption forms, where applicable. 

ACRES tranche one participants now have until December 31, 2024, to upload valid soil sample results or soil sample exemption forms, where applicable

Practical Move

Irish Farmers’ Association rural development chairman John Curran has said the extension provided by the Department of Agriculture is a “positive and practical move”.

“With all the rain in recent months, it was near impossible to get out and take suitable soil samples for analysis, so the original May deadline would have been very difficult for farmers, planners, and labs to achieve,” Mr Curran said.

“The same forward-thinking and flexibilities should apply now to other hard deadline measures such as establishing wild bird cover or fencing grass margins/riparian zones within ACRES”. 

“Because of persistent adverse weather conditions and/or heavy ground conditions, farmers haven’t been able to do the work, and will be under pressure to meet the deadlines, particularly now with calving and lambing in full swing.

“Providing an extension now would ease a lot of pressure and headache on farmers, and also potentially avoid unnecessary land/biodiversity damage where farmers feel forced to get out and fence or plant or whatever, just to comply with ACRES.”

Extension For Planting Hedgerows And Trees

The department also recently announced a new deadline for ACRES tranche one participants which covers the following: planting a new hedgerow; planting a traditional orchard; planting trees in riparian buffer zones; tree belts for ammonia capture from farmyards; and tree planting.

“Where participants are unable to source adequate quantities of suitable hedgerow and tree plants to fully satisfy their ACRES tranche one commitments, an extension has been granted to the current establishment deadline,” the department said.

“Participants have until March 31, 2025, to establish their hedgerows and trees.”

(Source – Irish Examiner – Farming – Kathleen O Sullivan – 26/03/2024)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rural Enterprise Skillnet
Rural Enterprise Skillnet

The Rural Enterprise Skillnet is funded by member companies and the Training Networks Programme, an initiative of Skillnets Ltd. funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills.

Read More