The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has launched its red clover silage measure.
Last week, we reported that the DAFM launched its Multi-Species Swards Measure as part of a €12m support package for Irish farmers.
The measure aims to promote environmentally sustainable farming methods, which will have a “positive” impact on climate, biodiversity, and water quality.
According to the DAFM, the measure will also have a positive impact on economic sustainability where farmers have dedicated silage swards.
Red clover silage measure
Research around red clover silage swards has confirmed red clover’s ability to convert atmospheric nitrogen into a plant usable form producing high-yielding silage swards with annual yields of up to 14t/DM per hectare, and crude protein levels between 16% and 20%.
Red clover silage can lead to higher intakes and increased liveweight gains or increased milk and protein yields. According to research, this can reduce the need for expensive concentrates.
Subject to farmer demand and seed availability, the DAFM anticipates that this measure will establish approx. 4,000ha of red clover silage swards.
How will the programme operate?
- The farmer or his/her advisor will sign up to participate in the Red Clover Silage Measure through Agfood;
- The applicant/advisor will select the LPIS parcels where the farmer will plant the red clover silage seed mixture;
- They will then indicate what quantity of seed they wish to purchase.
- Successful applicants will receive an approval letter from the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine. This will state the approved quantity of seed that the farmer may purchase under the measure.
- At the time of purchase, the farmer will bring their approval letter to an approved Co-op/agri-retailer. Here, they will purchase the red clover silage seed mixture. The co-op/agri retailer will sign and stamp the form, indicating the amount of seed the farmer purchases;
- The co-op/agri-retailer will apply to the DAFM for reimbursement of the discount applied to the price of the red clover silage seed mix sold to approved farmers under the measure;
- The DAFM will make payments directly to the agri-retailer/co-op based on returns they submit.
€50 per 15kg bag of red clover silage mix
Upon fully documented verification of eligibility, a payment contribution rate of €50 per 12kg bag of red clover silage seed mixture will apply to approved applicants purchasing the dedicated red clover silage seed mixture.
The mixture must include 4kg of red clover in each 12kg pack. The balance of the seed mixture must contain either perennial ryegrass or hybrid ryegrasses and may contain some white clover.
The measure will cover seed purchased from the farmer’s approval date until August 31st, 2022.
How to apply and deadline
Farmers wishing to apply for the Red Clover Silage Measure should apply through www.agfood.ie by the closing date of April 14th, 2022.