Minister Michelle McIlveen launches Devenish - 'From Soil to Society' initiative

22nd September 2016

Minister Michelle McIlveen launches Devenish - 'From Soil to Society' initiative

Devenish launch their Soil Improvement Programme at National Ploughing Championships 2016

Devenish launched their new sustainability initiative entitled 'From Soil to Society...' at the National Ploughing Championships, today, Wednesday, 21 September 2016.

Devenish, in collaboration with Lakeland Dairies and Thomson & Joseph, have developed their three step Soil Improvement Programme to help farmers grow more and better quality grass to improve cow health, productivity and profitability, whilst enhancing the environment.

The programme contains three steps;

  • 1. Soil aeration to reduce compaction;

  • 2. Using soil analysis to rebalance soil fertility;

  • 3. Biological treatment of slurry using a product called Digest-it to improve its fertiliservalue.

Three monitor farms within the Lakeland Dairies catchment area were selected to trial the programme and all have reported positive improvements since starting the programme three years ago, such as the Mullagarry herd, farmed by Clive Reed, which has increased grass utilisation on the grazing platform by 21%, and achieved 8% more milk from forage.

Michelle McIlveen, Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs commented, "The Soil Improvement Programme is unique in its holistic approach to improving the quality of soil for the benefit of production and the environment. The results to date have been fantastic and it is a real testament to sustainable farming."

Richard Kennedy, Group CEO, Devenish added "The Soil Improvement Programme also aims to tackle the issue of cow health from the ground up, via the soil. With farmers relying more and more on forage for feed, this is a timely intervention to assist farmers in achieving their goals of increasing the stocking ratio and getting more milk from grass."

Pictured (L-R) with Minister McIlveen, launching the Devenish Soil Improvement Programme, are Dr. David Atherton (Thomson & Joseph), Paddy Cahill (Cahill Engineering), Dr. Vanessa Woods (Devenish), Ciaran Conway (Devenish), Gill Gallagher (Devenish)

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