Despite clearly demonstrated benefits for pasture-based farms white clover is not in widespread use on Irish farms. This can be attributed to a lack of knowledge of best management practices and ambiguity in the past regarding the usefulness of white clover for pasture-based farms along the knowledge transfer chain.
Rising costs of fertilizer N relative to the farm-gate prices received for milk and beef cattle and the clear benefit of white clover in lowering greenhouse gas emission from farms has brought the use of white clover for pasture-based farms into sharper focus from the perspectives of pasture-based farmers and policy makers with the result that there is greater alignment of extension services in the promotion of white clover on farms.
The Teagasc Clover Group was initiated in 2005 by farmers working with Teagasc to promote the wider use of white clover on neighbouring farms through membership of the national network of discussion groups. High calibre farmers (dairy and beef farms) with potential to be demonstrating new approaches on their farms were invited to join the group.
Type of legumes: Clover
Type of farming system: Livestock, organic
Case Study Leader: Agriculture and Food Development authority (TEAGASC), Ireland
Contact person: James Humphreys, Teagasc, AGRIP, Moorepark, Fermoy Co. Cork, Ireland P61 C996.
TRansition paths to sUstainable legume-based systems in Europe (TRUE) has received funding from the
European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 727973