Teagasc Clover Farm Walks
Farmers are increasingly conscious of improving Nitrogen (N) fertilizer efficiency for their grassland. The sharp increase in fertilizer prices since the fourth quarter of 2021, has put a renewed focus on the ability of white clover to fix atmospheric Nitrogen (N) for grazing swards on farms.
A series of 12 farm walks will take place across the country in April, to highlight the beneficial role that white clover is playing on grazing farms. The series commences on 5th April at 11am with events on the farm of William Dennehy, Ballybeg, Currow, Co. Kerry, and on the farm of Kevin Moran, Ballinvoher, Caherlistrane, Co. Galway. Further farm walks will take place through the month, across each region of the country.
The Teagasc Grass10 team, along with grassland research team at Teagasc Moorepark, and local Teagasc advisors, have put together a programme that provides the latest practical advice on white clover establishment, nitrogen fertiliser usage, grazing management and achieving fodder security in 2022.
Opportunities for farmers to save money
The optimum amount of white clover in a field across the season is 20-25% of total herbage mass. At this level, white clover can fix up to 150 kg Nitrogen per hectare per year, improving both animal and sward production, as well as allowing a reduction in artificial N fertiliser use. Farmers are advised to adjust fertiliser application rates in summer. Where sward white clover content is increasing to greater than 20%, reduce artificial N fertiliser application rates to approx. 9 kg N/ha per grazing rotation.
The full list of Clover Farm Walks is available to see at https://www.teagasc.ie/crops/grassland/grassland-events/
A White Clover Factsheet produced by Teagasc, is available to view at https://www.teagasc.ie/news--events/daily/grassland/white-clover-factsheet.php
A Management and establishment of grass-white clover swards booklet, produced by Teagasc is available to view at https://www.teagasc.ie/publications/2022/Management-and-establishment-of-grass-white-clover-swards.php