BGS/BSAS Conference

Published 1 March 13

Some of the points picked up at this week's BGS/BSAS Conference

Soil pH

pH plays an important role in dictating how much of the N, P and K in the soil is available to the grass plant, however over 50% of soil sampled in 2012 had a pH below 6.

Soil compaction

Soil compaction can significantly reduce the neutralising effect of lime. In addition, compaction reduces pore space in the soil so there is less space for oxygen. The anaerobic conditions generated in the soil decrease plant available N and increase gaseous N losses. DairyCo currently has a study running on soil compaction and its link to nitrogen efficiency.

Improving nutrient efficiencies

Professor Dave Chadwick from Bangor highlighted four key points for improving nutrient use efficiency on farm:

  • Maintaining good soil structure
  • Testing soils
  • Use of clover in the sward
  • Choosing the right fertiliser type and applying this in the correct conditions. For more information see the BGS booklet Digging Out the Answers.

Further information from the conference in the next issue of Forage for Knowledge