With similar forage yields, crude protein and better digestibility when compared to alfalfa, red clover can be an excellent forage alternative to add to your operation. You can harvest your first cutting 60-70 days after a spring seeding and on every 30-35 day intervals after initial harvest. With its vigorous spring growth, this clover has the capability of suppressing weeds. Red clover is less invasive than white clover because of its shorter life span and the lack of rhizome or stolon rooting structures. It's deep taproot can extend up to 3ft into the soil profile and finer rooting structure in the top 5" can really aid in breaking up compacted soils. Red clover flowers are known to attract many pollinator and benefical insect species. If P leaching is a concern, red clover has been observed to leach only 1/3-1/5 the amount of P as ryegrass or radishes.
When is the right time to plant? Compare the germination temperature listed below to your soil temperature. Read this article for more info: When Can I Start Planting?
|Maturity (Days)||Seeds/lb||C/N at Maturity||Growth Habit||Root Type/Depth||Cold Kill (F)||Dry Matter Potential(Tons/acre)|
|Perennial||190000||Low||Upright||Shallow Taproot||-20||2 - 3|
|Use and Characteristics|
|N Fix Potential||Lasting Residue||Palatability||Hay Harvest||Regrowth||Deep Compaction||Surface Compaction||Weed Suppression||Crimp Kill|
|50-120||Fair||Very Good||Very Good||Excellent||Good||Good||Good||Difficult|
|Plant Depth||Min Germ Temp(F)||Drilled Seed Rate (lbs/acre)||Broadcast Seed Rate (lb/acre)|
|1/4 - 1/2"||42||8-10||10-15|
|Heat||Drought||Shade||Wet Soil||Low Fertility||Low pH Soil||High pH Salinity||High pH Calcareous|