University of Missouri Extension

M181, New February 2012

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


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

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