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Incorporating clover at Ballyhaise

Incorporating clover at Ballyhaise

In 2021 a new 5-year systems trial began looking at transitioning from high levels of Nitrogen (N) usage to low levels of imported N in Ballyhaise College. Donal Patton, Teagasc Ballyhaise gives an insight into this new research which looks at persistency of clover incorporated in grass swards

Previous work on other research farms has shown that incorporating clover into swards can improve Nitrogen (N) use efficiency through maintaining pasture production with reduced levels of chemical N application.

From the outset, we decided to accelerate the process through high levels of reseeding in the first 3 years of the project while also over sowing clover into existing swards. We reseeded 25% of the area in both 2021 and 2022 while also over sowing a further 15% each year.

In 2023 a more normal level of 10% reseeding and 10% over sowing will be carried out in order to maintain clover in swards.

How well will clover persist in swards?

One of the key questions we are trying to answer is how well clover will persist in swards on the heavy clay drumlin soil type which is predominant in Ballyhaise. This was why it was important to front load the establishment in the early years of the programme so this can be monitored.

In addition, the effects of this transition phase on the overall system are being monitored. The key areas we want to investigate are the effect on:

  • overall feed budget,
  • animal performance,
  • pasture production and
  • farm financial performance.

In the video below Donal Patton, Teagasc Ballyhaise, outlines more detail of the clover research trial. The trial is currently on year two of a five year programme in looking at transitioning from high nitrogen systems or 250 kgs of N on grass swards to incorporating clover.

Watch out for two more videos here on Teagasc Daily in this series of three videos about Incorporating Clover at Teagasc Ballyhaise

Ballyhaise’22 Dairy Open Day

Find out more by attending the Ballyhaise’22 Dairy Open Day which is taking place on Wednesday 13 July from 10am - 5pm at Ballyhaise Agricultural College, Ballyhaise, Co. Cavan. Eircode: H12 E392 .

The theme of this year’s event is, ‘Futureproofing Irish Dairying’.

Get all the details you need about what you can expect to see on stands, technology villages, demonstrations, workshops and much more at Ballyhaise’22 Dairy Open Day

Find out more about Teagasc Ballyhaise College