Open day will show farmers how to reduce fertiliser costs

BEEF and dairy farmers will be given examples of how to reduce fertiliser costs during an open day at the Teagasc Solohead Research Farm in Co Tipperary on Thursday.

The event, organised by Teagasc and Tipperary Co-op, will focus on increasing the profitability of grass-based milk and beef production.

It will be particularly relevant this year as dairy and beef farmers seek to reduce the costof production on their farms.

A low cost grass-based production system has been developed at Solohead and will be the central demonstration on the day.

This production system makes maximum use of white clover and efficiently recycles slurry onto the grassland, reducing the need for artificial fertilisers.

Research at Solohead shows that fertiliser costs on both dairy and beef farms can be substantially reduced by replacing chemical fertiliser with white clover and through the efficient recycling of slurry.

Teagasc says well managed clover-based swards can supply 140kg of nitrogen per hectare each year at little cost.

This is a large proportion of the nitrogen requirement on an average Irish farm.

Another benefit is that white clover herbage is of high quality and maintains high-quality pasture under low nitrogen input systems.

Grazing management, dairy cow health and fertility and genetics will be among the other topics covered.

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