Terra Soil FAQs
What is Terra Soil?
Terra Soil is a €1M, 5-year project which will produce new agricultural advice using geological data and soil samples. It’s a collaborative research partnership between government bodies Geological Survey Ireland and Teagasc which will produce information on nutrients, trace elements in soil along with soil texture information regionally.
Why is this being done?
Terra Soil will support better farming efficiencies by allowing farmers to make more targeted and science-based decisions, which will result in smarter agriculture, less environmental impacts and less wasted resources. Optimising farm efficiency and supporting rural communities are key policy objectives of the government of Ireland (Food Wise 2025 and Rural Ireland Action Plan).
How are the soil samples taken?
Terra Soil will use 10,000 soil samples taken so far as part of Geological Survey Ireland’s Tellus programme in the northern top half of Ireland. Soil samples are taken with a hand auger every 4 km², which is about 1 sample per 400 hectares. Two samples are taken between 0-30 cm depth and between 35-50 cm, with approximately 1 kg of soil collected from each depth — a similar weight and volume to that of a bag of sugar. Across Ireland, there will eventually be over 25,000 soil sample sites visited. The locations are quite randomly distributed to ensure we collect a representative sample of the general area, so no individual landowners are targeted.
How can I get the results?
Results will be made freely available over the coming years. During the project stakeholder consultation will be carried out to establish the best ways to access and use the data, e.g. online tools, maps, apps, guidelines, etc. The outputs will then be made available in a user-friendly format.
How is it being funded?
This is a collaborative research project which is funded financially by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) through Geological Survey Ireland. Teagasc is providing contributions-in-kind to the project.
Where can I get more information?
You can contact Geological Survey Ireland and Teagasc
by email, phone or through our websites to get more information on Terra Soil.
Geological Survey Ireland:
Geological Survey of Ireland
Tel: +353 1 678 2880
Soil and Catchment Science
Tel: +353 59 917 0200
Click here to check out our Terra Soil infographic.