New February 2012

Download a free PDF of this publication (7868KB). PDF help

Printer-friendly version of this page

Guidelines to reprint or copy


M181, Dairy Grazing: Selecting the Right Forage

  • Web access only

Contents

Use our feedback form for questions or comments about M181.

Find publications

Search MU Extension publications.

ADA Accessibile AddThis Widget
MU Extension near you

Page: « First    ‹ Previous    Next ›    Last »


Dairy Grazing: Selecting the Right Forage

Crimson clover  (Trifolium incarnatum L.)

Legumes

Crimson clover is a winter annual legume grown to a limited extent in Missouri. It does not produce appreciable forage in the fall but grows rapidly in early spring. It grows well under a wide range of soil types and conditions, but is not adapted to sites where there is standing water. It grows well in association with other winter annual grasses and is an efficient nitrogen fixing crop. Cattle find crimson clover quite palatable, and because of its high protein and low fiber content, they produce well when grazing it. Crimson clover’s main limitation is its narrow window of use in Missouri, with good grazing available only from late March through mid-May.

Crimson cloverCrimson clover
 

Yield distributionYield distribution of crimson clover in Missouri.
 

Leaf
Leaf

Individual plant
Individual plant

Flower
Flower

  • Origin: Southern Europe
  • Adaptation to Missouri: Statewide
  • Growth habit: Erect, winter annual.
  • Leaf: Palmately trifoliolate, broadly obovate at tip, narrow at base, densely pubescent, no watermarks.
  • Stems: Pubescent stems with few side branches arise from crown.
  • Stipules: Rounded with purple edges, reddish/yellow, ruffled top.
  • Flowers: Bright crimson, conical, erect, terminal racemes well above the last leaf.
  • Fertilization: No N needed if nodulated. Maintain 30 lb/acre P and 250 lb/acre K.
  • Timing of production: 80 percent of annual production between March 15 and May 31.
  • When to begin grazing: Often based on the height of the grass in the mixture. In pure stands, grazing should begin when the clover reaches 6 inches in height.
    When to cut for hay: Midbloom
  • Lowest cutting or grazing height: 3 inches

M181, new February 2012

Page: « First    ‹ Previous    Next ›    Last »


M181 Dairy Grazing: Selecting the Right Forage | Page 26 | University of Missouri Extension