A new 5 year research project has commenced that hopes to provide agri-environmental soil data for Ireland’s agricultural sector. Terra Soil is a collaborative research project that brings Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) and Teagasc to help improve the management of nutrients and trace elements in soil.
The €1m project is the first research collaboration between GSI and Teagasc that will bring both organisations’ expertise to the forefront of Smart Agriculture. Terra Soil is the first Smart Agriculture research output from Tellus Product Development; a programme which examines the chemical and physical properties of our soil, rocks and water. The information that the research programme hopes to gather will create a better informed agricultural sector, while supporting sustainable agriculture and protecting Ireland’s environment.
Koen Verbruggen, Director of Geological Survey Ireland, notes the wider scope of the project saying: ‘Geological data underpins many aspects of our economy, not least agriculture, and this collaboration with Teagasc combines geoscience and agronomic expertise in order to drive maximum value from national-scale geological mapping programmes’.
10,000 soil samples have already been collected and will be further analysed as part of Terra Soil, in an attempt to determine available nutrients, metals and trace elements. New datasets will be combined with Tellus geochemical information and will be mapped regionally, providing greater insights into Ireland’s soil fertility, crop and animal health, land drainage, nutrient management and farm economics.
Terra Soil’s new data findings will support better farming efficiencies by allowing farmers to make more targeted and science-based decisions. It aims to support farmers on a local level by improving the advice they’re being given, and creating smarter agricultural methods.