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The Clover Reporter with Peter Doyle, Derrypatrick Herd Grange

Peter Doyle, Derrypatrick Herd Grange is this week's Clover Reporter. We get an update on the management of the existing grass- clover swards for the summer, of 2022 oversown paddocks and of the 2022 reseeded paddocks on the Derrypatrick farm.

Peter Doyle, Derrypatrick Herd Grange

Newsletter 22-02-22Name: Peter Doyle
Location: Derrypatrick Herd, Teagasc Grange, Co. Meath
Enterprise: Suckler calf-to-beef
Soil Type: Brown earth
2021 Clover Details
% Farm In Clover: 50% grass-clover (32 ha) (other 50 % is grass only for trial purposes)
% From Reseeding: 53% (17 ha)
% From Oversowing: 47% (15 ha)
Clover content: 10%

Management of existing grass- clover swards for the summer

Continue to graze covers of 1400 kg DM/ha down to 4 cm. Soil fertility will be corrected where necessary to optimise clover persistence.

Management of 2022 oversown paddocks

We are very happy with the oversown paddocks to date this year. However, the current soil moisture deficit is causing significant stress on this year’s oversown clover, so we are hoping for a good spell of rain to prevent any further damage. The newly established clover roots are strongly anchored into the ground at this stage so we are grazing the paddocks good and tight to maximise light exposure. On average we have applied 15 kg N/ha on ground since it was oversown. Currently we are fortunate to have a good grass supply on the farm so we are applying no chemical N on the oversown clover for July.

Management of 2022 reseeded paddocks

Clovermax was successfully applied to swards 5 weeks post reseeding and when rain was forecasted (to avoid spraying during heat stress). However, clovermax does not kill chickweed and if not controlled chickweed can smother out establishing clover. Therefore, we are currently grazing the reseeds to 4 cm and below to remove the chickweed from the sward. Fields reseeded in mid-May have been grazed twice to-date (see picture above).

The Management and establishment of grass-white clover swards booklet discusses and sets out the principles for the management and establishment of grass-white clover swards so that the benefits can be achieved at farm level.

Find out more about clover here | Read about the other farmers who took part in The Clover Reporter here

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