DARCOF · Research > Darcof II > Cultivation of organic clover and grass seed

Cultivation of organic clover and grass seed

From January 2004 only organically produced seed can be used in organic farming systems within the EU. Optimal organic forage production relies on the access to improved cultivars of high quality clover and grass seed for forage mixtures. Currently the supply of organic forage seed in Europe is scarce. In Denmark a production of one of the main constituents of forage mixtures, perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is established, however, another main constituent, white clover (Trifolium repens L.) is still in request. Denmark has favourable climatic conditions and a tradition for seed production.

This project will identify the main obstacles in the production of organic seed for high quality forage mixtures, and conduct investigations to improve management techniques. To optimise production (quality and yield) research is carried out to provide guidelines for organic growers on how to optimise establishment techniques, increase nutrient utilisation, minimise pest damages and utilise excessive clover and grass growth as forage. A substantial part of the project is implementation of the results, which will be achieved by a number of demonstration trials. Focus for these trials will be a rapid dissemination of results, which will support the incorporation of seed crops in organic crop rotations.

Due to favourable climatic conditions, long tradition, and expertise in the specialised seed production, it is expected that Danish seed growers will be able to supply a considerable proportion of the total organic production of clover and grass seed in Europe.


Project title
I.11 Clover and Grass Seed – production of high quality organic seed for forage mixtures (CLOGS)

Project leader
Birte Boelt
Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plantbiology
Research Centre Flakkebjerg, DK-4200 Slagelse
Phone: +45 53 11 34 25, Fax: +45 53 11 33 01
E-mail: Birte.Boelt@agrsci.dk

Project participants
ibeke Langer and Benjamin Rohde, KVL
Lars M. Hansen and Frank V. Larsen, DIAS
Jørn Lund Kristensen, DLF-trifolium