The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #150150   Message #3497005
Posted By: Megan L
31-Mar-13 - 08:26 AM
Thread Name: Folklore: All in clover
Subject: RE: Folklore: All in clover
When dairy farming there are things you want in the meadow and things you dont clover is a definate must as this article from a uk agricultural site shows.

David Alexander, Dairy Development Adviser, CAFRE

In the current climate all forage based livestock producers should at least take time to consider the relevance of clover to their system of production. This brief article will highlight some of the benefits of incorporating clover swards on your farm and address some of the concerns farmers may have on using clover.

Modern varieties of white and red clover offer higher yields, greater persistency and are more reliable throughout the growing season. They should not be considered as only relevant and economically attractive to low input / low output systems and organic production but have a role to play on many Northern Ireland dairy farms.

Potentially clover swards can be cost effective providers of high quality home-grown protein and reduce the reliance on fertiliser nitrogen, through their ability to make use of atmospheric nitrogen (nitrogen fixation).

White clover is potentially a long-lived perennial legume with multi-branched creeping stems (stolons). The nodules, which house the nitrogen fixing bacteria, are present as small growths on the roots. The stolon is a key organ in the plants persistence as it provides the means of surviving over the winter and regenerating the following spring.

"Benefits of White Clover

Nitrogen fixation – the conversion of nitrogen from the air into a farm that the plant can utilize. It is estimated that the amount of utilizable nitrogen produced is equivalent to 150-200 KG N per hectare.
Intake – ruminant livestock may consume 20-30 percent more white clover than grass.
Feed Value – a higher digestibility, protein content and mineral content than grass only swards as identified in Table 1."

so to be in clover is highly desirable