Clover and alfalfa, the principal constituents of animal feed by volume, are the two most valuable forage plants, providing large amounts of natural protein per hectare.
Red clover is one of the most efficient crops in wet upland areas, providing the large quantities of vegetal mass needed for ruminants and improving the fertility of soils on which it is cultivated. Its protein content gives it high palatability and nutritional value.
In addition, it makes a valuable contribution to soil enhancement, being more effective in this respect than alfalfa or sainfoin.
It is also used in animal feed in the form of grass meal, hay, hay meal or silage. Harvested when flowering, clover hay contains about 14.5% crude protein and 20.4% crude cellulose, as well as 22-26 mg of carotene per kilogramme of feed, not to mention significant vitamin (B, C, D, E etc.) content.
Despite its many benefits, however, red clover is not included on the list of protein crops and is not eligible for coupled support in Romania.
In view of this, what instruments does the Commission have at its disposal to ensure the inclusion of red clover on the list of protein plants?