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Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork

Teagasc Moorepark Grass-Clover Research Update 22-11-22

Dr. Deirdre Hennessy and Hannah Irish

The grass-white clover research programme at Teagasc Moorepark is comparing herbage and milk production from three pasture-based systems, all stocked at a whole farm stocking rate of 2.6 cows/ha. The three experimental treatments are grass-only receiving 225 kg N/ha, grass-white clover receiving 150 kg N/ha and grass-white clover receiving 150 kg N/ha in an alternative N application strategy. Paddocks in the grass-white clover treatment receiving 150 kg N/ha in an alternative N application strategy received N fertiliser every second rotation from May to August, while in the other grass-clover treatment N was applied in every rotation.

Current pre-grazing herbage mass is approximately 1,200 kg DM/ha and post-grazing sward height is approx. 4.5 cm. We are using a lot of on-of grazing at the moment. We will be finished grazing around the 28th November. Target closing farm cover is 550 kg DM/ha. Current sward clover content is approximately 30% on both clover treatments. Current average farm cover is 720 kg DM/ha. Current herbage allowance is 11 kg DM/cow, plus 3 kg silage DM and 3 kg concentrate. Milk production is similar across all treatments at 11 kg/cow and 1.05 kg MS/cow. 20-25% of cows in each treatment have been dried in the last 2 weeks.

Herbage production on the Grass225 treatment was 14.5 t DM/ha, on the Clover150 was 14.5 t DM/ha and on the Clover150Alternative was 14.8 t DM/ha. Average sward clover content to early November was 20% on both clover treatments. Cumulative milk solids yield per cow to 20 November was 492 kg on Grass225, 509 kg on Clover150 and 511 kg on Clover150Alternative.

We reseeded 12.5% of the farmlets at the start of May and over-sowed 8% at the end of March.


Update on the Teagasc Moorepark Grass-Clover Research programme

Dr. Deirdre Hennessy and Hannah Irish

The grass-white clover research programme at Teagasc Moorepark is comparing herbage and milk production from three pasture-based systems, all stocked at a whole farm stocking rate of 2.6 cows/ha. The three experimental treatments are grass-only receiving 225 kg N/ha, grass-white clover receiving 150 kg N/ha and grass-white clover receiving 150 kg N/ha in an alternative N application strategy. Paddocks in the grass-white clover treatment receiving 150 kg N/ha in an alternative N application strategy will receive N fertiliser every second rotation from May to August, while in the other grass-clover treatment N is applied in every rotation.

 Current pre-grazing herbage mass is approximately 2,250 kg DM/ha and post-grazing sward height is 3.8 cm. Current sward clover content is approximately 10% on both clover treatments. We have 83% of the area grazed and approximately 10 days grass left in the first rotation. The first grazed paddocks have a cover of 900 – 950 kg DM/ha. Average farm cover is 850 kg DM/ha. Current herbage allowance is 15 kg DM/cow plus 2 kg concentrate. To date, 45% of the farmlets have received slurry (2,500 gals/ac) and average fertiliser N application is 56 kg N/ha. Cows are on a 24 hour allocation since early last week. Milk production is similar across all treatments at 23.7 kg/cow and 1.92 kg MS/cow.

 We plan to reseed 5-10% of the farmlets this year (April/May), with a small amount of over-sowing in early April in swards with low clover content.