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Young farmers compete for Best Soil at the Royal Highland Show

Best Soil in Show Quaich, awarded in 2013 to Millbrex Farm, Fyvie
The point of Best Soil in Show is to highlight the importance of maintaining healthy soils to ensure not just productivity but also the other functions soil performs such us protecting biodiversity, the food chain, carbon storage and the quality of our water supplies.

Young farmers from all across Scotland will be pitching the soils beneath their feet against one another in a quest to find the Best Soil in Show at the 2014 Royal Highland Show. The event will see the James Hutton Institute and the Scottish Association of Young Farmers (SAYFC) join forces to raise awareness about the importance of soils.

It is the second time the Institute has run the Best Soil in Show and this year they have enlisted the future stewards of the soil, young farmers, to help roll out the competition right across Scotland. Through the influential SAYFC network of over 80 local clubs and over 3000 members, samples from farms across the country will be judged on their physical and chemical properties to identify the winner. Submissions will be accepted until 31 March.

Colin Campbell, Director of Science Excellence at the James Hutton Institute, said: “The point of Best Soil in Show is to highlight the importance of maintaining healthy soils to ensure not just productivity but also the other functions soil performs such us protecting biodiversity, the food chain, carbon storage and the quality of our water supplies. Soils deliver many basic biological and ecological benefits and raising awareness will help land managers to understand the characteristics and condition of their soil to make informed decisions about its management.”

SAYFC National Chairman Katherine Marr commented: “We are very pleased to be working with the James Hutton Institute, and this is a great competition for members to take advantage of their expertise. It is important that we offer opportunities such as this to those members who are working with Scotland's land so they can continue to understand the parameters with which they work”

During last year’s Royal Highland Show a sample from Millbrex Farm, Fyvie won on account of its good physical and chemical properties. This year’s winner will be presented with a Quaich at the Royal Highland Show, at the James Hutton Institute marquee in Avenue Q.

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 analyses and monitor changes in soil over time. In a drive to make this data available to land managers, farmers and the general public, the institute has developed two apps (SIFSS and SOCiT) and a website in partnership with Ricardo-AEA for the Scottish Government.

Notes to editors:

The Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs (SAYFC) is the largest rural youth movement in Scotland, bringing together those between 14 and 30 years of age who have an interest in agriculture and the countryside. Established in 1938, SAYFC currently has more than 3000 members who contribute to over 80 clubs throughout Scotland. The current motto "Not just for those who wear wellies" enhances that the association is not just for farmers, SAYFC is for anyone who would like to be part of a youth organisation where they can gain personal development opportunities that will benefit them during their time as a Young Farmer, and in the future. www.sayfc.org

More information from: 

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


Printed from /news/young-farmers-compete-best-soil-royal-highland-show on 27/01/20 07:42:28 AM

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.