With the level of chemical fertilizer used in the EU at the forefront of politicians’ minds this week, white clover may become a major factor on Irish farms in the very near future. In this week’s second blog entry, Adrian Graham from Dundalk IT tells Agridirect.ie about the benefits of growing white clover.
Reducing chemical nitrogen
Recent news confirmed that as part of the new proposed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the limit for chemical nitrogen spread in the EU will be reduced by 10% and the closed period for slurry spreading will be lengthened by bringing the existing closing date (15th of October) back to some point in September. This will put pressure on farmers to keep grass growing, but clover could be the answer. Clover has the ability to ‘fix’ nitrogen from the air using rhizobia bacteria that the plant contains within its roots. This nitrogen is then held in the soil and is made available for the grass plants to utilize. This process leads to a much quicker regrowth of grass.
Agridirect.ie outlines the primary benefits of promoting white clover on our land.
A member of the bean family, white clover (trifolium repens) is native to Europe and Central Asia. Traditionally, it has thrived in the temperate oceanic climate of Britain and Ireland, providing excellent grazing for the ruminants of these islands. After World War II, however, market forces began to target the three-leaved plant. As petrochemical herbicides developed during the war era hit the shelves, the chemical industry started to depict white clover as an unsightly weed that its products could deal with. Predictably, the global clover population took a serious nosedive.
Agridirect offers some advice to farmers and gardeners on the best weedkillers to use in this summer’s weed wars!
At war with weeds?
It’s that time of year again. And while most of us welcome the milder weather, we can’t help but despair that the weeds are getting the upper hand in our endless war against them. My own front street is starting to look like meadow and, try as I might to hack away at the variety of grasses with a spade, there just aren’t enough hours in the week to keep them at bay. It may be time for the farmer and the gardener to strike back. Why not take the less labour-intensive option and look for an effective weedkiller over the coming weeks? If you’re ready to take action, we have some great news for you! Here at Agridirect.ie, we’re running a super early summer sale on some of our most popular weed killers and related products. Continue reading “Do You Know the Right Weed Killer for Your Farm?”
Many farmers I know often say that reseeding grassland is only something for big dairy farmers; “I can’t afford that” is their call. However reseeding has many advantages and should be considered an essential for any and all livestock farmers.
Feeding animals is the single biggest cost on any livestock farm. But we can control what we feed animals. Grazed grass is by far cheaper than any other feed that we have available to us in Ireland. If grass isn’t making the diet, more expensive silage and conserved feed will have to fill the gap. Reseeding your grassland can ensure you get the more feed from your ground. Continue reading “Reseeding- Feed your animals from home grown feed”
Perennial ryegrass, Italian ryegrass and White clover account for nearly all of the agricultural grass/clover seed sold in Ireland. Of these, perennial ryegrass is by far the most important . Other species of grass and clover are not commonly used. Individual varieties differ in performance characteristics depending on maturity group and ploidy. These differences may be further exaggerated by factors such as climate, soil type and system of farming. Increased demands on grassland with regard to early spring grass, mid-season product ion, extended grazing in the autumn etc. , mean that care needs to be taken in the select ion of suitable grass seed mixtures. All grass and clover varieties listed in this booklet have a proven record of performance over a period of years at a number of different locat ions, and are deemed most suitable for Irish condit ions. Growers should give preference to the Recommended List variet ies unless there is strong evidence that some other variety is more suited to their conditions.