Germinal supporting organic livestock farming with highly rated mixtures

Friday 03.05.2024 , News

The Irish government is targeting 10% of farmland to be organic by 2030 and is providing grants to support farmers through the conversion period. This has led to the area of organic farmland tripling since 2020, with an additional 1,050 farmers signing up to the scheme so far in 2024.

Currently, organic livestock farmers can apply for DAFM’s multi-species swards and red clover silage measures, taking advantage of Germinal’s ability to offer organic-compliant versions of the prescribed mixtures.

This lets organic farmers receive up to €300 per hectare for establishing red clover silage or multi-species mixtures. Just remember that applications for these measures close on 15th May 2024 through the BISS scheme.

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Get performance with Germinal’s organic grass seed mixtures

With organic concentrates costing a premium, producing homegrown grass and forage with DAFM support can help bring feed costs down and improve your self-sufficiency.

By choosing Germinal’s organic mixtures, you can produce quality grass and forage from varieties rated highly on the Recommended List and Pasture Profit Index (PPI).

Organic mixtures tend to include outdated varieties, whereas Germinal mixtures stand apart by including organic versions of our Aber High Sugar Grasses (HSG). These grasses aid production by enabling livestock to capture more of the protein from grass while also reducing ammonia and nitrous oxide emissions.

Aber HSG varieties are included in each of our organic grass and forage mixtures below – click the links to learn more:

  • Organic Red Clover Silage: Formulated with organic versions of our Aber HSG varieties, including AberClyde, this DAFM-compliant mixture produces silage with high DM yields and no nitrogen inputs.
  • Organic Multi-Species Swards: Combining top Aber HSG varieties with herbs and legumes, this DAFM-compliant multi-species mixture works well in livestock grazing systems.
  • Permanent Pasture: Combining diploid and tetraploid grasses from our Aber HSG varieties, white clover has also been included in this Permanent Pasture mixture.
  • 100% Organic Perennial Ryegrass: This mixture includes AberClyde alongside other top Aber HSG varieties from the PPI, covering diploids and tetraploids. Click here to learn more about this 100% organic mixture.

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Advice for organic livestock production

Organic grass and forage are essential for livestock farmers but will also be effective for mixed farmers who need a break crop from the likes of cereals or oats, advises Dr Mary McEvoy, Germinal Technical Director.

As for organic livestock farming practices, we tend to find ploughing is more effective when reseeding with these specialist mixtures. Without chemical sprays, thatch cannot be burnt off and direct drilling is less effective. Ploughing will invert the old sward and create a clean seedbed, ensuring good seed-to-soil contact.

With chemical fertiliser not permitted, clover is fundamentally important as a natural source of nitrogen, fixing around 150 kg N/ha each year. Nutrient management can be further supported with the allowance of lime and slurry applications.

Ask Germinal – the grass and forage experts

Contact your regional expert below with any questions about producing organic grass and forage.

David Little, Area Sales Manager, Northern Ireland
T: 07718 658716
E: [email protected]

Diarmuid Murphy, Area Sales Manager, Southeast/Midlands/West
T: 085 747 3865
E: [email protected]

Claire Bailey Archibald, Area Sales Manager, Northeast
T: 087 470 6908
E: [email protected]

Pat Delaney, Area Sales Manager, South/Southwest
T: 085 841 6477
E: [email protected]