“Sources and Solutions: The Link Between Our Soils & Water Quality”
How farmers manage their land can have a significant impact on water quality. Routine farming activities such as fertiliser and slurry application can lead to the loss of nutrients to our rivers and streams. As different nutrients behave differently in soil types knowing how to maximise nutrient use efficiency and minimise losses is key to reducing input costs, protecting our water quality, and reducing emissions on farms.
Five short information videos have been developed by Smart Farming to help farmers to improve their soil fertility, soil carbon sequestration and water quality. The aim of the information videos is to convey practical advice to farmers which are easy to implement on their farms.
2020 Smart Farming participant and Kerry Dairy farmer Karol Kissane explains what carbon sequestration means and how farmers can maximise the amount of carbon stored in their soils.
How to improve soil fertility?
2020 Smart Farming participant and Kerry Dairy farmer Karol Kissane walks us through his farm and gives 5 tips to improve soil fertility:
1.Test your soil regularly.
2.Correct your soil pH.
3.Implement a nutrient management plan.
4.Use Low Emission Slurry Spreading.
5.Switch to protected Urea.
How to improve water quality?
ASSAP Advisor Meabh O’Hagan visits a drystock farm in Co. Meath and identifies the 5 key measures to help protect water quality on farms:
1.Apply manure, slurry and fertiliser correctly.
2.Introduce an extended buffer zone.
3.Locate water troughs away from waterways.
4.Implement a nutrient management plan.
5.Introduce mixed species & clover to your grass swards.
The Link Between Soil & Water Quality
Guest speaker, Dr. Paul Murphy, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science shared the recent research being undertaken at UCD Lyons Research Farm and discussed the relationship between soil type, soil fertility and water quality and how farmers can optimise production more sustainably.
What are PIP maps?
ASSAP Advisor Meabh O’Hagan explains what the EPA Pollution Impact Potential maps are used for and how they can be used by farmers to identify water pressures in their area.
How to use PIP maps?
Jenny Deakin, Manager of the Catchment Science and Management Unit in the EPA gives a step-by-step tutorial on how to access the PIP maps online, search for your location and identify pressure points on water quality.
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