DAFM Soil Sampling and Analysis Programme


The Soil Sampling and Analysis Programme is co-funded by the EU and national exchequer under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2022 (RDP) under Article 51 of the regulation.  It will continue to develop a national baseline of soil parameters (& soil health indicators) at a scale immediately applicable on an agronomic level.

The national soil sampling will focus on:

·         Macro- and micronutrients for agronomic advice and water quality risk assessment.

·         Soil carbon(C) relating primarily improving climate objectives and soil health.

·         Soil pathogen assessment as a biosecurity measure for policy guidance.

Programme for Government and policy integration

Soil Health and Nutrient Management are key components of the Programme for Government and the output from this Programme will assist with targeting management practices /measures and advice to support national and EU policy such as the new Soil Strategy and proposed Soil Health Law as well as the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), Climate Action Plan, Farm-to-Fork, Water Framework & Nitrates Directives, and the Biodiversity Strategy and the new EU R&I, Soil Health, Food Mission and Food Vision 2030.

Farmers The soil sampling programme, at field scale, will provide the basis for the next generation of soil-specific nutrient management advice and underpin targeted fertiliser and organic manure applications (right nutrient type, right application rate, right time & right place) across all farming systems in Ireland. Farmers will also be provided with indicative soil carbon results for their land, which is an important baseline result on an individual and national level from a soil health and climate change perspective. Indicative E.coli results will provide the basis for developing strategies to manage animal, human and environmental health on the farm.

The incentive for the farmer to participate is access to the soil analysis results and receive agronomic advice through FAS advisors on the basis of the results if required.

In order to maximise participation and value of the Programme a maximum of 16 samples may be taken per farm.

Farmers/advisors will apply through AgFood

The programme will have National coverage (26-county) reflecting relative numbers of farming systems in each of the NUTS 3 regions of the country


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