Evaluating competitiveness of clover-grass as a resilient feed production option in Finland

Heikki Lehtonen


Clover-grasses address the following objectives:
– Decreased input use (N-fertilization), reduced dependency of
inorganic N => reduced GHG emissions
– Possibility for increased protein content of silage, reduced
dependency on purchased protein feed supplement (home
grown proteins, resilience)
© Natural Resources Institute Finland
– Better utilisation of farmland in the context of climate change
in the north: Higher T - improved N fixation
– Compatible with sustainable agriculture and sustainable
intensification: more output with the same inputs / the same
output with reduced (non-renewable) inputs
• In contrast: Shifting to silage maize increases N fertilisation
– Major shift from grasslands to silage maize in e.g. Denmark


1. Small cost reductions in clover-grass cultivation, or clover-grass
premiums, may or may not increase clover cultivation
- Their effectiveness is uncertain and subject to prices
2. N tax is effective, but is not a suitable policy action in current
financial situation of farms (milk crisis 2015-2016)
3. However, the results suggest that a 25% higher N price lead to
© Natural Resources Institute Finland
significantly higher clover grass area and a small reduction ín
milk output – with no cost reductions or extra premiums!
4. To increase clover cultivation, price ratios should be adjusted!
5. If increasing clover -grass yield, a robust increase in clover
grass areas may realise, with small benefits for farm economy
and overall production – How much more clover grass yield
could be attained at low costs? A topic for further discussion
and analysis!


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