The elevated value of chemical fertiliser and summer time drought has made the usage of crimson clover silage (RCS) swards common on many farms.
However there’s nonetheless numerous farmers which have issues concerning the usage of crimson clover, most notably the necessity for reseeding extra recurrently.
Purple clover silage
Talking on the Irish Grassland Affiliation (IGA) dairy convention earlier this week, Teagasc researcher Michael Dineen outlined a latest research performed by Teagasc on the fee saving that may be achieved utilizing RCS.
Dineen firstly outlined analysis that was performed at Teagasc Grange, which confirmed that, over a six-year interval, a RCS sward that obtained no chemical nitrogen (N) had an identical annual dry matter (DM) manufacturing (15,000kg of DM/ha) to a grass sward receiving as much as 412kg of N/ha/12 months.
Dineen famous that though the sward had seen clover content material drop from 75% in 12 months one to 44% in 12 months six, the annual DM yields had been displaying no indicators of decline.
Financial financial savings
Dineen then mentioned more moderen analysis that regarded on the financial financial savings that may be obtained when utilizing RCS swards.
Purple clover replaces the chemical N fertiliser with biologically mounted N (equal to 150-300kg N/ha).
Three totally different techniques had been checked out on this trial: A grass silage two-cut system, RCS three-cut system with 0-7-30 getting used, and a crimson clover three-cut system – all slurry.
|Purple clover silage
three-cut system, with 0-7-30
|Purple clover silage
three-cut system – all slurry
|€/bale (€ t DM)||€/bale (€ t DM)||€/bale (€ t DM)|
|Fertiliser (Together with spreading)||€11.89 (€59)||€7.10 (€34)||€4.16 (€20)|
|Harvesting value (Together with plastic)||€24.48 (€122)||€23.69 (€113)||€23.69 (€113)|
|Different (feeding, herbicides and so on)||€2.49 (€12)||€2.64 (€14)||€2.64 (€14)|
|Mounted value (reseeding/amenities)||€2.77 (€14)||€4.78 (€23)||€4.78 (€23)|
|Whole value (excluding land cost)||€41.60 (€208)||€38.30 (€184)||€35.30 (€170)|
|4-year to six-year persistency for crimson clover||€-2.10 (€-11)||€-2.00 (€-11)|
|Whole prices (excluding land cost)||€41.6 (€208)||€36.20 (€173)||€33.30 (€159)|
|25% discount in fertiliser value||€-2.1 (€10)||€-1.10 (€6)||€0.00 (€0)|
Based mostly on chemical fertiliser costs of €1,100/t and €883/t for protected urea and 0-7-30 respectively, RCS was €3.30/bale cheaper to provide in comparison with grass swards.
When the grass sward and slurry-only crimson clover swards had been in contrast, there was a €6.30/bale saving to be seen.
In a state of affairs the place chemical fertiliser costs dropped by 25% (i.e. €825/t and €662/t for protected urea and 0-7-30 respectively) the fee good thing about crimson clover over grass swards silage is €2.30/bale.
This was primarily based on the crimson clover needing to be reseeded each 4 years, primarily based on a six-year reseeding programme there was a €5.40 saving for RCS three-cut system, with 0-7-30 and a saving of €8.40 for slurry solely RCS.
Utilizing crimson clover has an environmental profit to farmers, however primarily based on this analysis it additionally has a big cost-saving profit – even with extra common reseeding being required.
Based mostly on this analysis, for each 100 bales of silage produced on a farm there’s a financial saving of between €630 and €840.