Clover’s huge dairy farming potential
G r a s s - c l o ve r s wa r d s c a n increase grass production by 2.9 tonnes of dry matter per hectare, according to a presentation on managing grassclover swards in an intensive g rass based s ys t em , by Michael Egan and Deirdre Hennessy of Teagasc, Moorepark, at the recent annual Teagasc Soil Fertility Conference.
Clover can also offer the opportunity to strategically reduce inorganic nitrogen use in high stocking rate grassbased systems, particularly in the second half of the year. However, use of clover on Irish farms is low, even though it has huge potential to benefit dairy farmers, when the increased milk production per cow and improved environmental sustainability (due t o re d u c e d n i t ro u s o x i d e emissions) are included White clover can significantly impact on Irish dairy productions systems through increased herbage production.
The conference was told that frequent tight grazing (to 4cm–4.5 cm above ground level) of grass-clover swards will encourage white clover persistence in grazed swards.