Trifolium resupinatum L. var. majus Boiss.
- High nutritive value.
- Extremely high production potential.
- Multi cut forage crop.
- Tolerant of seasonal flooding.
- Some tolerance of salinity.
- Free of oestrogen risks
- Poor regeneration
Plant: Erect, annual. Up to 750 mm height
Stems: Up to 35 mm diameter, hollow, soft
Leaves: trifoliate, up to 25 mm long, plain, strongly veined, oval-shaped leaflets with serrated margins
Flowers: pink-violet flowers. Many-flowered cluster and mature in axillary, white, spherical, woolly seedheads to 15 mm diameter on long stalks
Pods: membranous, dehiscing at thickened sutures; one seeded
Seeds: ~1 mm long, ovoid, various colours (brown, olive, purple); ~1.5 million/kg
Pasture type and use
A winter-growing, annual capable of excellent winter and spring growth. Suited to seasonal irrigation. A valuable fodder crop.
Where it grows
> 500 mm in winter/spring rainfall zone for dryland use. Also used with irrigation. Tolerates water with up to 1500 S/cm on low salinity soils with adequate drainage.
Good heat tolerance. Quite tolerant of frost and cold but slow growing at low temperatures.
Grasses: Italian ryegrass
Sowing/planting rates as single species
5-10 kg/ha; broadcast onto a finely worked, weed free seed bed and cover lightly by a roller or drill seed at 5 mm depth into a clean, finely worked seedbed. High seed rate boosts winter yield and reduces weed invasion.
Sowing/planting rates in mixtures
February (if irrigating) to April
Apply ~20-30 kg P/ha annually and correct any nutrient deficiencies, especially K, Mo, Cu, S.
For optimum growth Olsen soil P (0-10 cm depth) > 15
Suited to winter grazing. Set residues at 2-3 cm (winter) and 4-5 cm (spring) to avoid over grazing. Rotationally graze during the cool season when 15-20 cm tall; this stimulates tillering. If sown with grass must graze late winter/early spring to allow clover to contribute later.
Suited to hay/silage production; most valuable aftermath. Stems are nutritious but slow to dry; use conditioner to speed up drying. Fast regrowth facilitates second cut; remove bales promptly - hay quite susceptible to rain damage
Free seeding; some self pollination occurs; bees required to maximise seed yield. Yields 0.8-1.8 t seed/ha.
Ability to spread
Poor recruitment; most cultivars produce little hard seed.
Low. Seed very susceptible to sprouting in the head and to false breaks.
Red legged earthmite and lucerne flea need to be identified and controlled rapidly during establishment.
Some cultivars susceptible to leaf and stem rust (Uromyces trifolii-repentis) and clover rot (Scherotinia trifoliorum)
Glyphosate. Damaged by many broad-leaf herbicides.
High (high soluble carbohydrate, high protein content & low NDF content). Retains excellent feeding value as dry standing hay during dry weather.
Good winter, spring, summer
Low isoflavone content - no risk to breeding livestock. Low risk of bloat. Can be associated with photosensitization
|Maturity Group||Cultivar||Seed source/Information|
|Early||Flash||Seed Genetics Australia|
|Mid||Lusa||Agriculture Victoria Services Pty Ltd, Melbourne|
|Mid-late||Storm||Stephen Pasture Seeds|
|RD 8||Seed Genetics Australia|
|Turbo||AusWest SeedsBallard Seeds|
|Turbo Plus||Belair Technology Pty Ltd, South Australia|
|Anchor||Rich River Seeds|
Departments of Agriculture, Seed companies
Author and date