Ecotain Plantain

Ecotain is a variety of plantain like no other – it is an Environmental Plantain that significantly reduces nitrate N leaching from the urine patch.

Agriculture is one of the major sources of N in rivers, streams and lakes in Ireland. Accurate application of fertiliser and organic manure can reduce the amount of N but there is strong evidence that the majority of N entering our water from agriculture originates in the urine patch.


Each time a cow urinates, it applies the equivalent of between 500-700kg N/ha on an area just 3m².

This is far in excess of plant N requirement and most of this ends up in our rivers. Managing N is a major issue for Irish farmers and Ecotain plantain offers a natural forage solution to excess N loss from urine.


Ecotain has diuretic properties which increases urine volume and therefore reduces urine N concentration. When animals urinate more frequently it spreads the urine across a greater area, further reducing the N load.


Typically, high N feeds lead to high N urine. However, Ecotain reduces the amount of N that goes into urine by diverting some dietary N to faeces, milk and muscle. When animals eat Ecotain they release less N into the environment.


The amount of N in a typical urine patch far exceeds what plants are able to utilise. Plant secondary compounds in Ecotain delay the conversion of urinary N from ammonium to nitrate in the soil. This keeps the urinary N in a more stable form and allows plants more time to utilise the N and reduce pollution.


Plant secondary compounds released by the roots of Ecotain interact with the nitrification bacteria in the soil further delaying the conversion of ammonium to nitrate.

Production Benefits

  • Increases forage supply during summer and autumn
  • Aids sward recovery after dry spells
  • Improves winter sward production
  • Suitable to a wide range of soil types
  • Persists 4 – 5 years


Plantain Meets Production Targets

Over the last few years the increasing use of multi-species swards has seen Irish farmers significantly reduce their N fertiliser bills, increase animal performance and enhance summer forage production. On some drier farms, multi-species swards have been the only grazable forage available during prolonged dry spells.

The inclusion of plantain and chicory in multi-species swards proves they are more than just weeds. In fact, these species may have far more to offer than we think. Take plantain, for example, a perennial forage herb with excellent DM production, high mineral content and the potential to reduce nitrate loss from grassland.

Animal Performance Benefits

  • High mineral content forage (Zn, Cu, Se, Mg, Ca and K)
  • High in protein
  • Increase milk production in summer when grass quality declines
  • Improves liveweight gain in sheep and cattle
  • Ecotain is a variety of plantain like no other – it is an Environmental Plantain.