Skip to navigation Skip to content

Fyvie farm in Aberdeenshire has the Best Soil in Show

Iain Gordon presents the Best Soil in Show award to Ann and Harshaw Irvine
The winning soil had excellent structure and texture in large part due to its high organic matter content.

After closely examining samples from different areas of the country, soil scientists from the James Hutton Institute have awarded the Best Soil in Show at the Royal Highland Show 2013. A sample from Fyvie in Aberdeenshire, submitted by Olivia Donald from Millbrex Farm, was declared winner because of its good physical and chemical properties.

Dr Jason Owen, soil scientist at the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen, said: “The winning soil had excellent structure and texture in large part due to its high organic matter content, thus making it resistant to erosion and degradation, key attributes with current pressures on soils. Furthermore, data obtained from chemical analysis indicated a well-balanced nutrient content required for producing a range of crops.

The Best Soil in Show Quaich was presented by James Hutton Institute Chief Executive, Professor Iain Gordon to Ann and Harshaw Irvine, who collected it on behalf of their daughter Olivia from E&A Donald, Millbrex Farm, Fyvie.

The selection of the Best Soil in Show was aimed at showcasing the importance of soils at the Royal Highland Show 2013, coinciding with the Year of Natural Scotland. Soils are essential to the delivery of many basic biological and ecological benefits. Land managers and farmers need a good understanding of the characteristics of their soil, in order to be able to make informed decisions about managing it.

The James Hutton Institute has over 90 years’ experience in soil and crop research and also hosts Scotland’s National Soils Archive, which is a reference to the state of the soils in the past and is used to test new analysis and to monitor changes in soil over time.

Easy access to data from this vast archive is also available through two free iPhone apps, SIFFS and SOCiT, which enable land managers, farmers and enthusiastic amateur growers to learn more about their soil while out in the field or allotment. Both apps are free and available at the Apple App Store.

Press and media enquiries: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


  • Staff profiles
    Read about the types of jobs we offer
    Photograph of scientist at work

Printed from /news/fyvie-farm-aberdeenshire-has-best-soil-show on 26/05/22 04:12:36 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.