Seed mixtures under the Department of Agriculture’s Red Clover Silage Measure must have 4kg of clover per 12kg bag of seed.

Like the Multi-Species Sward Measure, farmers will be paid €50 per 12kg bag of red clover silage seed mixture they apply on their land.

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 date of approval until 31 August 2022.

How will it work?

  • 1. The farmer or his/her adviser will sign up to participate in the Red Clover Silage Measure through
  • 2. The farmer/adviser will select the LPIS parcels where the red clover silage seed mixture will be planted.
  • 3. They will then indicate what quantity of seed they wish to purchase.
  • 4. 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 may be purchased under the measure.
  • 5. At time of purchase, the farmer will bring their approval letter to an approved co-op or agri retailer, where they will purchase the red clover silage seed mixture. This form will be signed and stamped by the co-op or agri retailer and the farmer indicating the amount of seed actually purchased.
  • 6. The co-op or agri retailer will apply to the Department for reimbursement of the discount applied to the price of the red clover silage seed mix sold to approved farmers under the measure.
  • 7. Payment will be made directly to the agri retailer or co-op, based on returns they submit to the Department.
  • Farmers looking to apply to the scheme should read the terms and conditions published online.

    Subject to farmer demand and seed availability, it is anticipated that this measure will establish approximately 4,000ha of red clover silage swards.

    High-protein feed

    Launching the measure, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said the ability of these swards to produce high-protein, high-energy feed should allow farmers to lower their concentrate feed bills next winter, while at the same time reducing the need for expensive chemical nitrogen.

    “The benefits of red clover silage swards are hard to ignore. Given the crop is most suited to cutting for silage rather than grazing, establishing a red clover sward is definitely an option worth considering by anyone targeting silage ground for reseeding this year,” said the Minister.

    Minister of State at the Department Pippa Hackett said red clover silage swards have been traditionally considered most suited to organic farming systems.

    However, in recent years, there has been a growing interest in red clover silage swards across all farming systems, as farmers realise the potential this crop offers from both economic and environmental perspectives.

    “This Red Clover Silage Measure, and the Multi-Species Sward Measure announced last week, will provide opportunities for farmers to improve the environmental and economic sustainability of their production systems.”

    Minister of State Martin Heydon said red clover swards can lead to higher intakes and increased liveweight gains or increased milk and protein yields.

    “Every farm will have a different set of circumstances to consider, but red clover is certainly an option worth examining.”

    Farmers wishing to apply for the Red Clover Silage Measure should apply through by the closing date of 14 April 2022.