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Management and establishment of grass-white clover swards

01 April 2022
Type Booklet

Moorepark Dairy Levy Research Update - Series 40

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Recognition of the high forage quality and the nitrogen (N) fixation benefits of grass-white clover pastures has led to a resurgence of interest in its use as a means of reducing the economic and environmental costs in livestock agriculture. The EU Farm to Fork strategy has increased the urgency to focus research on the use of white clover to reduce chemical N fertiliser use.

Research is being undertaken at Teagasc Moorepark, Curtins, Clonakilty and Athenry research farms on the role of white clover in our production systems. The research program to date has delivered very promising results (high N use efficiency (NUE) - close to 60%, lower N surplus and higher animal performance). There is, however, a clear challenge to ensure that grass-white clover swards are established and persist on commercial grassland farms.

This booklet will discuss and set out the principles for the management and establishment of grass-white clover swards so that the benefits can be achieved at farm level.