Taking soil samples as fertiliser prices sky rocket

Although most fields are currently too wet to take soil samples, you should consider doing so when conditions improve. The majority of the country has experienced significant amounts of rainfall in recent days, with most fields now wet under foot.

Generally if a field is too wet to graze, they are usually too wet to take soil samples. Although it is too wet to sample, it is not too wet to plan for taking samples. You should make contact with your local advisor or a soil sampling company to begin the plan to take samples.

Fertiliser prices

2021 has seen a significant increase in chemical fertiliser prices, with prices for 2022 looking like they will be high again.

With fertiliser prices being so high, ensuring that your fields are in ideal nutritional status, will ensure that you are getting the maximum benefit from the fertiliser that you spread.

Incorrect soil pH reduces the effectiveness of chemical fertilisers, so for what is an expensive input, ensuring you are getting the maximum return should be priority.

Lime

A drop in soil pH from 6.5 to 5.5 reduces herbage production by between 30-40%.

The price of lime has remained fairly stable in recent years compared to chemical fertilisers. For what is a reasonably priced investment it offers a good return in investment in the form of an increase in herbage production.

Soil samples

Once you have determined if and how much lime is required you can begin organising for lime to be spread.

When you spread lime does not really matter once conditions are ideal. Traditionally lime was spread in the back end of the year, but in recent years these have been the wettest months. The benefits of spreading lime on fields, should not be done to the detriment of ground conditions. If machinery is causing damage to the ground it should be avoided until conditions improve.