University of Missouri Extension

M181, New February 2012

Dairy Grazing: Selecting the Right Forage

White clover (Trifolium repens L.)

Legumes

White clover is a legume adapted to cool, moist climates. In Missouri, it is presently grown on about 8 million acres of pastureland in combination with perennial cool-season grasses. Like other legumes, the forage it provides is both palatable and nutritious. All cattle relish white clover but have a tendency to overgraze it in mixed pastures. A rotational grazing system helps manage this problem. White clover has good tolerance to poorly drained soils, but it is not drought-tolerant. In addition, white clover causes cattle to bloat if used as the only forage in the diet. Because of its high forage quality, white clover has wide application in grazing systems.

White cloverWhite clover
 

Yield distributionYield distribution of white clover in Missouri.
 

Leaf
Leaf

Stolon
Stolon

Flower
Flower


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