IAS Laboratories to partner in €10,000,000 government contract
Carlow based IAS Laboratories are to partner with NRM Laboratories and Farmeye in an innovative €10m pilot Soil Sampling and Analysis Programme. As a result of this contract the company, who are head-quartered in Bagenalstown, will be taking on additional eight staff.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, announced the programme last week.
It is aimed at putting soil carbon, soil health and fertility at the centre of the future agricultural model.
Minister McConalogue said that the programme would provide national baseline information on soils across Irish farms.
“As well as the soil fertility and soil pathogen assessment, the programme will measure baseline soil carbon levels, which will guide future actions to support carbon farming,” he commented.
“It will also provide the basis for the next generation of soil-specific nutrient management advice and underpin targeted fertiliser and organic manure applications across all farming systems in Ireland,” Minister McConalogue added.
The programme will provide farmers with practical information to help make farm management decisions, ranging from improving nutrient use efficiency to soil carbon levels in soils.
“IAS Laboratories are delighted to be partnering with NRM Laboratories and Farmeye in this very exciting programme, launched by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM),” David O’Connell of IAS Laboratories said.
“It marks a new departure and puts soil health and sustainability to the forefront of future management. We look forward to working even closer with DAFM, farmers and advisors,” Mr O’Connell added.
Over the last two years, IAS Laboratories, with the help of some LEADER funding, have invested more than €400,000 in their Bagenalstown laboratory.
More than 30 years ago the company was established as part of the Irish Sugar factory as a research and development laboratory. IAS Laboratories has since significantly expanded and developed its services and now incorporates the broader analytical requirements of the agricultural, environmental and geotechnical sectors.
Meanwhile, the companies independent core traditional business will run in tandem with this project.
They continue to accept soil samples from farmers and advisors for soil testing and nutrient analysis. As the winter months’ approach winter feed is to the forefront of farmers minds, IAS offer a full suite of feed analysis including mineral profile and nutrition testing on silage and winter feed.
The other main part of IAS core business is water testing, an accredited Laboratory for testing domestic drinking water for both bacteria and chemical analysis to ensure it is fit for human consumption.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) said that soils will play an important role in meeting our water, air, climate and biodiversity targets of both the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Green Deal.
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