AgriSearch has welcomed the recent announcement by Northern Ireland agriculture minister, Edwin Poots, launching the Soil Nutrient Health Scheme for NI.

AgriSearch chairman, Seamus McCaffrey said: “Healthy soil is the foundation on which all agricultural systems depend. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked and undervalued.

The new Soil Nutrient Health Scheme will deliver information that will be of enormous practical benefit to all farmers and we would encourage all farmers to avail of the scheme.

“In addition the scheme will also quantify the amount of carbon both in our soils and above ground in trees and hedgerows. This information will be critically important to ensure that farmers get the recognition they deserve for sequestering carbon," he added.

Recent work undertaken by the ARCZero EIP project (which AgriSearch is a partner in) and presented by Dr. John Gilliland at the recent Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU) Agriculture and Climate Conference, illustrates that farmers are custodians of very considerable amounts of carbon stocks.

“AgriSearch is focusing its work programme on activities that will assist farmers on their journey to low carbon farming systems, and will ensure that they get recognition for the ecosystem services that they provide.”


AgriSearch (Northern Ireland Agricultural Research and Development Council) is an independent charity, registered with the Charities Commission for Northern Ireland.

AgriSearch was formed in 1997 to provide a mechanism through which beef, dairy and sheep farmers could have direct involvement in production orientated research.

Funds contributed to AgriSearch are used to commission research into the improvement and development of beef, sheep and dairy farming.

The council's aim is to provide practical benefit for primary producers to reduce costs, improve performance, drive innovation and improve welfare.