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Clovers For Forage For Horses, Cattle & Wildlife

(Perennial Legumes) Aysicarpus vaginalis Red Clover in Bloom

Clovers are popular legumes grown for forage and wildlife feed providing useful energy, protein and fiber. Clovers are also known for their soil improving and nitrogen fixation. Soil tests should be made on all fields planted in clovers to determine proper fertilization.

Clovers are annual/perennial forage legumes (seeding and non- reseeding) that are desirable in established pastures when controlled, as animal feed and nitrogen for the soil upon dying. High in protein, prolific and survives close grazing. Clovers are heavy users of water and will not grow on deep sand beds or sandy soils without underlying clay foundations.

Pennington's Durana Clover and Patriot Clover are two popular clover seed varieties that are considered to be superior white clovers. Both of these white clovers have earned Pennington's Yield Up branding due to their high quality. To read more about these clovers please click the above links. We have also provided a PDF document Comparing Durana & Patriot Clovers to assist you with choosing the correct clover seed for your needs.

Using Clovers For Horse Forage

Clovers can be a desirable food source for most horses whether used in pasture or hay. Please note that occasionally clovers can be infected with mold, especially in wet years or periods of high humidity, that can cause problems with horses. During these periods of mold on clover horses should be removed from the pasture. Even with these issues clovers are considered a useful forage for horses. For more information on this subject please see this PDF document from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinarian Medicine Horse Program on feeding horses clover.

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Alyce Clover
Dixie Crimson Clover
Durana White Clover
Ladino Clover
Emarwan Red Clover
Bulldog Georgia Red Clover
Patriot White Clover
Rackmaster Clover Blend
White Dutch Clover
Arrowleaf Clover
Ball Clover
Dalkeith Clover

MANAGEMENT & PLANTING CLOVER SEED

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Durana Clover in Bloom
Durana Clover

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RED CLOVERS
Trifolium pratense L.

Red clover is most popular and widely grown true clover. It is planted both alone and within existing grass stands. Red clovers are divided into three types used in US.; Early flowering (medium), late flowering, and intermediate forms. Red clovers grow best in summer temperatures are cool (not hot) and moisture is sufficient throughout growing period. Northeastern states are best of this crop. Growing in Southeast is is best used as a winter annual. In the Northeast states it usually requires irrigation. Spring seeding works best.

CRIMSON CLOVERS
Trifolium Incarnatum L.

Crimson clover is native to southern Europe and is well adapted to the southern USA as a forage and cover crop when planted in the fall with growth continuing through the winter. To establish crimson clover in areas of affected by severe cold, it should be planted in early spring although there will be a later maturity on this crop. If planting in the Northern USA, you should plant before August for establishment before extremely cold weather sets in. Crimson clover makes for an excellent winter grazing crop and thrives when planted with grasses. It is also used for hay production and as a cover crop with the nutritive value being the highest when harvested in the pre-bloom stage. If turned under into the soil as a green manure, crimson clover will return 100 to 120 lbs of nitrogen.

WHITE CLOVERS
Trifolium repens L.

White clover originated in Europe and Asia and has adapted to the US to become a highly important pasture legume. Some varieties of White Clover were indigenous to North America.  It is best adapted to humid sections of temperate zone. The preference is toward clay and silt soils where annual rainfall is above 35 inches or on irrigated soils. Three types of white clover exist: Large (ladino), intermediate (Louisiana white) and small (English or NY wild). Common White clover (Dutch Clover) is considered either intermediate or small or a mix. Ladino clovers grow more than twice as large as white clovers.

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Uses For Clovers

Used in pasturage, green chop, hay and as a soil nitrogen enhancing crop in between other rotational crops. The high nitrogen content does not allow the full time pasturage of clover alone because of the problem of bloating. Sustainable pastures should contain a 30% clover to 70% grass average for the best utilization of nitrogen producing plants. Hay production, pasturage, wildlife food plots, soil improvement and rotational crop / soil use. Often mixed with other grasses to provide improved forage..

Site Preparation For Planting Clover

Plant in well drained fertile and loamy or clay soils. Soil pH of 6-7 is preferred. White Clover is mainly used in all Eastern USA states to one state west of Mississippi. Red goes about to Mississippi line. Both are also planed in Western USA states under irrigation.

Clover Planting Rates & Times

Planting rates depend on variety and run from around 10 lbs / acre, to as high as 20/30 lbs / acre. Check specific variety / type for specific seeding rates and times.

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