Limerick clover farm – Farmer Colin Doherty grows clover as part of grass management on his 270-acre farm.
Adare farmer Colin Doherty makes headlines with his innovative Limerick clover farm
By I Love Limerick correspondent Ann Mc Donald
Farmer Colin Doherty, who has a 270-acre dairy farm outside Adare, Co. Limerick, has been making headlines recently for his innovative clover farm and recently appeared on a segment on RTÉ.
In 2020, 25% of the farm was sown with clover, and a similar amount was done last year.
The young farmer grows clover as part of his grassland management for many reasons. Not only does it reduce his dependence on imported fertilizers, but it is also extremely beneficial for the environment.
The clover removes nitrogen from the atmosphere and releases it to fertilize the soil. In turn, animals release less methane when consuming the clover. This helps underpin the long-term sustainability of his 180 dairy herd farm and reduces their carbon footprint.
Colin has previously noted that the clover is very beneficial for milk production and animal welfare as it is very digestible. It makes their business more sustainable and self-sufficient as they are not relying on outside imports.
He has said in a video recently posted on Twitter that he will be using the platform more this year to give his followers a better insight into his farm.
Colin works with Teagasc adviser Tim Doherty, who is based in West Limerick, as well as John Maher, who leads the Teagasc ‘Grass 10’ project.
Clover is an important part of the grassland management plans of #dairy farmers, reducing the need for imported fertiliser & underpinning long-term #sustainability as shown by Limerick dairy farmer Colin Doherty #SustainableDairyEUhttps://t.co/YJJXDpTMQO
— EU Sustainable Dairy Ireland (@EuDairyIRE) January 7, 2022
The Teagasc Grass 10 project is working with about 50 farmer groups, which covers almost 1,000 farmers, around the country to educate them about the benefit and management of growing clover on their farms as part of their grass management.
By using clover, farmers are able to improve the sustainability of their enterprises as it reduces chemical fertilizer inputs and can lead to the reduction of greenhouse gasses which in turn allows farmers to join in the fight in tackling climate change.
Growing clover as part of grass management is proving to be more popular in recent years due to the rising cost of fertilizers and EU regulations aiming to reduce fertilizer use.
For more information about Teagasc, go HERE
For more agricultural stories, go HERE