More than 2,600 applications have been approved by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) for the Multi Species Sward Measure and Red Clover Silage Measure.

A total of 1,691 have been approved for the Multi Species Sward Measure, covering 10,217ha, while 965 have been approved for the Red Clover Silage Measure, covering 6,766ha.

Applications are “broadly in line with the proposed budget and the target for the measures overall”, according to the DAFM.

“Across the two measures, the overall total approved area is 16,983ha. The target area for the two measures combined was 16,000ha.

Approved applicants are eligible to purchase seed from participating co-ops/agri-retailers up to August 31, 2022.

A DAFM spokesperson said that while it is too early to predict the actual areas that will be sown under either measure, based on feedback received “it is anticipated that there will be strong uptake among approved applicants”.

Multi Species Sward Measure

Under this measure, a payment will be made to participating co-op/agri-retailers to help farmers with the cost of buying multi-species sward seed mixtures. This will help with the establishment of these swards.

Research work carried out on multi-species swards has shown positive results on low nitrogen input plots. These swards could provide a more environmentally friendly production system allowing for increased carbon sequestration, while at the same time reducing emissions of nitrous oxide which is a potent greenhouse gas, according to the DAFM.

Red Clover Silage Measure

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

This measure will also be delivered in cooperation with participating agri-retailers and co-operatives throughout the country.