University of Missouri Extension

M181, New February 2012

Dairy Grazing: Selecting the Right Forage

Red clover (Trifolium pratense L.)


Red clover is a short-lived, perennial legume grown on 7–10 million acres in Missouri. Although alfalfa has superior yield and quality under ideal conditions, red clover is much better adapted to the poorly drained, shallow or infertile soils frequently found on pasturelands. It is easier to establish than other legumes and works well in a mixture with cool-season grasses. It has problems dealing with prolonged drought and root diseases. However, it can be reseeded rather easily and inexpensively. In fact, many producers broadcast 3 to 6 lb/acre of seed annually to maintain stands.

Red cloverRed clover

Yield distributionYield distribution of red clover in Missouri.



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

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