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Is clover an option for your farm?

Teagasc researcher, Deirdre Hennessy, joins Catherine Egan on this week’s episode of the Beef Edge podcast to discuss what you need to know about clover swards.

With the price of chemical fertiliser this spring  Deirdre highlights that clover most definitely has a role on all grass based systems.  

Before establishing white clover, Deirdre advises on the importance of good soil fertility (soil pH 6.2-6.5, soil P index 3 or 4, soil K index 3) and good infrastructure where each paddock is grazed within 3 days on an 18-21 day rotation.

She also discusses weeds – whether over-sowing or reseeding – and clover varieties, advising which clover varieties will best suit your needs.

In order to reduce bloat risk, Deirdre says that, for animals accustomed to clover swards, bloat is not usually an issue. But for high risk animals, introduce them gradually to clover swards, don’t let them in hungry to clover swards and don’t move them from poor quality swards to clover ones. Alternatively feed roughage before grazing and graze when the clover sward is dry, or use bloat oil in the water (25ml/LU/Day).

Grass 10 are organising a number of clover farm walks around the country for the month of April - dates and times are on the Teagasc website. Check out Teagasc National Events for further information and talk to your advisor.

For more episodes from the Beef Edge, visit the show page at: www.teagasc.ie/thebeefedge 

Produced on behalf of Teagasc by LastCastMedia.com.