Farming & Fisheries

Applications open for funds to plant red clover

May 2nd, 2023 3:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

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FARMERS are invited to apply for funding under the government’s multi-species sward and red clover silage measures.

The schemes were introduced last year to help farmers reduce their chemical fertiliser and have a budget of €2.5m.

‘A payment rate of up to €300/ha is also being provided for which represents a significant increase on the rate paid last year,’ said the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.

There are a number of other key changes compared to last year namely that payments will be made directly to the approved farmer on a per hectare basis; and a reduced payment rate per hectare will apply as appropriate if eligible applications exceed the available combined budget for the two measures.

To receive payment under either measure, an applicant must indicate the correct crop type on their 2023 BISS application.

Trial work on multi-species swards has shown positive results around low nitrogen fertiliser use which has a beneficial impact on reducing nitrous oxide emissions while reducing input costs for farmers. 

The different rooting structures in these swards allow for improved soil structure along with a greater tolerance to drought conditions. Research on red clover silage has shown that due to its nitrogen fixing ability, these swards are higher in protein than conventional silage and combined with their ability to yield over 14t DM/ha will assist farmers in reducing their concentrate feed bills while also benefiting the environment and reducing GHG emissions.  

To apply, an applicant/their agent needs to go to The application portal will close on May 29th.

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