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28 Jun 2022

They think it's all clover - it is now!

The humble white clover is helping to reduce carbon emissions

Kilkenny Kilkenny Kilkenny

White clover is a common sight in grassy areas

Sustainability was a hot topic at this year’s Bord Bia Bloom festival – and visitors had the opportunity to visit the Dairy Sustainability Garden and learn about how the humble white clover is helping to reduce carbon emissions.


The Garden – sponsored by the National Dairy Council – featured a live discussion with Dr Deirdre Hennessy about white clover, how it holds the key to dairy sustainability, and how it can also improve the health and biodiversity of your own garden.


Dr Hennessy, a VistaMilk-funded Investigator and Senior Teagasc Research Officer, speaks about the topic in the latest NDC’s Dairy Matter’s podcast, Rapt in Clover, launched to coincide with Bord Bia Bloom 2022


The podcast and the Bloom Garden also coincide with the submission of the widely anticipated Food Vision Dairy Group interim report on sustainability to the Minister for Agriculture – two key recommendations of which are to reduce chemical fertiliser use on dairy pastures and increase the amount of clover in grasslands.


Cathy Curran, spokesperson for the NDC, said: “The podcast covers the benefits of introducing clover into the grass that Irish cows graze, and which make Irish butter so yellow. Not only does it result in less chemical fertiliser, it leads to increased herbage, and improvements in milk yields per cow – as an added plus, the cows love it.


At Bloom, Dr Hennessy set out the many benefits to introducing clover onto dairy farms. Using less fertiliser saves money and time; improving productivity increases incomes; and Irish agriculture’s overall environmental impact is mitigated by the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (nitrous oxide) stemming from that chemical fertiliser.
Dairy Matters, the podcast series, can be found on the NDC website, on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify or wherever you find your audio.

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