A new Soil Nutrient Health Scheme (SNHS) has been launched by Minister Poots. The Scheme is a soil sampling and carbon analysis scheme that will provide farmers with nutrient levels in their soils across all fields and will also provide an accurate estimate of the carbon stored in the soils, hedgerows and trees on their farms.

This SNHS information will be very beneficial to farmers in management of their nutrient applications. Consideration is currently being given to how this strategic platform can become embedded within future agricultural support measures and a consultation on these proposals closed recently.

The SNHS will be administered and delivered by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI). It is rolling out Province wide in stages over the next four years by geographical zone.

This Zonal approach is required to facilitate ongoing research.

AFBI will contact Zone 1 farmers directly asking them to confirm their field details using the DAERA online services portal.

The information farmers will receive will include soil analysis results and farm maps: detailing the nutrient levels in each field; identifying fields prone to nutrient loss via run-off to waterways; and an estimation of the amount of carbon stored in their soils, hedgerows and trees. Training will be provided by CAFRE on Nutrient Management and the role of carbon on farms.

A set of Frequently Asked Questions is available for more information on the Scheme and also the Schemes Privacy notice.

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