Heightening homegrown forage quality with clover

Incorporating clover into your grass leys can bring many benefits to your grassland and forage.

Clover fact 2 - ForFarmers UK

White Clover

  • Fills the mid-summer ‘hungry gap’
  • Less productive than red clover but it is much more persistent
  • Best suited in medium to long term mixtures
  • The optimum soil pH is 6.0-6.5
  • White clover has a high demand for phosphate and potash
  • White clover mixes can be sown throughout the year but summer reseeds should be completed in time to allow clover to fully establish before the onset of winter.
  • Classified according to leaf size:

- Small - Intensive grazing

- Medium - Sheep and beef grazing

- Large - Dairy grazing

- Very large - Cutting for silage

  • Performance varies in terms of yield, seasonality and persistency under different management regimes.
  • Sowing rate in mixes 1.0-1.5 Kg/acre (7%-10% of the mixture by weight)

TOPGRASS grazing clover blend

Includes varieties bred to withstand intensive grazing pressures.

TOPGRASS Grazing Clover Blend 2023 White 1

TOPGRASS cutting clover blend

Contains only large and medium leaved clovers with exceptional cutting yelds.

TOPGRASS Cutting Clover Blend 2023 White

TOPGRASS dual purpose clover blend

Contains a mixture of large, medium and small leaved clover to suit all management systems.

TOPGRASS Dual Purpose Clover Blend 2023 White

Red clover

Red clover is one of the most rapidly expanding components in grass seed mixtures either for re-seeds or overseeding existing grassland. Its high feed value can relieve pressure on forage stocks through its high protein content.

  • The deep roots of red clover give drought tolerance and improve soil structure.
  • Very high yielding, short lived perennial plant with a lifespan of 2-4 years.
  • It has a tufted, upright growth habit from the crown of the plant which lies at ground level and it has a deep tap root.
  • Can be cut 3-4 times a year.
  • Can produce high yields of protein rich forage (15-20% Crude protein) compared to most grass silage at between 10-16%.
  • Ideal companion grasses are hybrids and advanced grasses as both have a similar life span and are aggressive enough to compete in a sward containing a high percentage of red clover.
  • Sowing rate 2.0-3.0 kg/acre (in a mixture with suitable grasses)
  • A massive plus with red clover is that it can fix nitrogen. It usually takes up to 12 months after drilling red clover for the nitrogen fixing to occur, and this is only in warmer months. If you have 30% clover in a sward it could fix 150-250 kg N/ha per year. 75 -100 kg nitrogen could be transfered to surrounding crops.
  • If overseeding a silage mixture sow up to 3.0kg of Red clover per acre. This should be blended with 7kg/ac of high yielding hybrid ryegrass. ForFarmers overseeding mixture TOPGRASS Leybooster Red Clover matches this formula and can transform the productivity of silage fields.
  • For a new reseed we recommend the use of ForFarmers mixtures TOPGRASS Nytrogen or TOPGRASS Protogen which contain the correct balance of grass and clover to produce an extremely high yielding sward that will last up to 3-4 full years and even longer if overseeded in its 2nd or 3rd year.
  • If grazing in the autumn, to tidy up any late growth avoid over grazing especially with sheep as hard grazing could damage the crown and kill the plant. In addition red clover should not be grazed by sheep in their breeding cycle as the high oestrogen can affect their fertility.
  • Although red clover produces its own nitrogen, in a mixture with grass it is always advised to top up with bagged nitrogen to ensure the red clover does not over dominate the sward.
  • When red clover is used in a rotation it is advisable to have a break from red clover to prevent the build up of disease. A break of five years is recommended.
Clover no flowers cropped

TOPGRASS red clover blend

A mixture of tetraploid and diploid red clovers to ensure maximum yields from cutting and autumn grazing.

TOPGRASS Red Clover Blend 2023 Red

Crimson clover

  • Annual clover that establishes quickly to aid weed suppression.
  • Good network of tap and branch roots.
  • Crimson flower attracts many insects.
  • Ability to trap and add nitrogen to the soil for following crops.
  • Has over wintering capabilities and the biomass produced degrades rapidly back into the soil profile.

In any instance where there are shortages in specified varieties we reserve the right to substitute equivalent varieties.