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21/10/2021

Kildare Deputy urges farmers to sign up to farming programme worth €10 million

Minister of State Martin Heydon vows to improve safety on farms during 2021

File Pic: Minister of State Martin Heydon

A Minister from Kildare has urged farmers to sign up to a farming programme worth €10 million.

Deputy Martin Heydon, who is also Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, made the call on social media.

The Fine Gael TD said: "Some 4,500 farmers have already signed up to the new agriculture.ie €10m soil sampling programme."

He added: "The samples will analyse soil nutrients as well as soil carbon levels."

"The application window closes next Friday, 8 October."

Deputy Heydon also tagged fellow Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine Charlie McConalogue and Green Party Senator Pippa Hackett in his post.

The pilot programme was originally launched on September 21, and aims to put soil carbon, soil health and fertility at the centre of Ireland's future agricultural model.

Minister McConalogue explained to Agriland.ie that the programme would provide national baseline information on soils across Irish farms.

According to Deputy Heydon's Dept, the incentive for the farmer is to receive comprehensive soil analysis reports with next generation data which, along with advisory support, will be used as a soil management tool on the farm.

This is important as understanding the link between animal health and soil health, especially with the focus on soil pathogen assessment, also provides farmers with the information to adapt strategies to minimise anti-microbial resistance (AMR).

Deputy Heydon recently offered his condolences to the food company Glenisk following a devastating factory fire in its factory at Tullamore.

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