Farmers in Zone 3 of DAERA’s soil testing scheme are invited to register

Date published: 19 June 2024

Farmers in North Tyrone and Co Derry / Londonderry are invited to register for Zone 3 of the Soil Nutrient Health Scheme (SNHS). Registration opens on Monday 24 June and closes on Saturday 31 August 2024.

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If your farm business is in Zone 3, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) will write to you and invite you to register. Registration is online via your Government Gateway Account.

To date over 6,000 farmers in Zone 1 and 6,000 farmers in Zone 2 have received soil analysis results for their farms, including pH, phosphorus (P), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), Calcium (Ca) and sulphur (S), together with organic matter estimation and crop specific lime and fertiliser recommendations.

Participation in the SNHS will be a requirement to receive payments under future farm support schemes. This conditionality requires participation in the SNHS and completion of the College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) SNHS training when it is offered to farmers.

CAFRE SNHS training is available on the CAFRE website and it provides advice on the interpretation of the analysis reports, preparation of nutrient management plans and the role of carbon on farms.

Guidance and further information on the scheme including maps of the specific sampling zones and dates when the registration portal will be open to apply online.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Registrations to Zone 1 of the Soil Nutrient Health Scheme opened in May to September 2022. Zone 2 opened in June to August 2023 with over 90% uptake in both zones.
  2. Zone 1 covers County Down and parts of Counties Antrim and Armagh and Zone 2 covers Fermanagh, the west of County Armagh and South Tyrone and opened for registrations in June 2023 with over 90% uptake.
  3. Zone 4 (North East) will follow in 2025/26.
  4. Farmers in Zones 1 and 2 who have not yet registered can apply from 24 June to 31 August 2024.
  5. Registration is through DAERA online services using a Government Gateway Account at: www.daera-ni.gov.uk/onlineservices.
  6. The roll-out of the SNHS scheme continues with the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) working closely with the contractors for the soil collection (RPS Group), and analysis (Cawood/NRM).  
  7. The AFBI SNHS Admin team can be contacted on 02890 255212 or via email at SNHS@afbini.gov.uk
  8. Follow DAERA on X formerly called Twitter and Facebook.
  9. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office: pressoffice.group@daera-ni.gov.uk or telephone: 028 9016 3460.
  10. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours’ service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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