Phase 1 soil test looked at identifying the soil type and readily available nutrients for a certain land use. As soils are made up of sand, silt, and clay, the test first determines the ratio of sand to silt to clay. This is an important starting point for understanding compaction and drainage issues. The test also looked at how much organic matter was present in the soil. This is extremely important as organic matter is what feeds the life in the soil. The life in the soil is what unlocks the nutrients that are present in the soil but not in a form that is readily available to plants. This is a source we would want to see a good result on because the more habitat for soil biodiversity, the more nutrients can be unlocked and made available to plants.
The EIP soil test looked at what the land is used for (e,g, sheep, cattle, tillage, horticulture) and the results reflect the readily available nutrients required for that purpose. Gerard’s soil type is loamy, composed of almost equal amounts of sand and silt with a little less clay. His land use is dairy , so the results are read for that target.
Phase 2 Soil Test Results
Soil samples looked at soil respiration (mg/kg ), C: N ratio, active carbon ( mg/kg ), available nitrogen, and ammonium nitrogen.
Biological Test Results
The biological testing looked at the beneficial microorganisms, fungi (ug/g), bacteria (ug/g), actinobacteria, and fungal: bacteria relationship.
The Soil Biodiversity Literacy and Enhancement project is an EIP (European Innovation Partnership) project being administered by The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The Project is funded by the EU Recovery Instrument Funding under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2022