Red clover is a short-lived perennial. Yields are good
the year after establishment but are often quite low the
following year, especially in southern Ontario. It can be
grown in fields that are too wet or acidic for alfalfa.
When seeding in mixtures, red clover can suppress the establishment
of other legumes. As a feed crop, red clover is most often
stored as silage since it is difficult to dry, resulting
in "dusty" or "mouldy" hay.
There are two general types of red clover grown in Ontario:
double-cut or "medium" red clover and single-cut
or "mammoth" red clover. Double -cut will flower
in the seeding year, with vigorous regrowth after cutting.
Single-cut is slower growing and matures about 2 weeks later
thatn double-cut. Single cut does not flower in the seeding
year or after the first cut in succeeding years.
Use of red clover as a plowdown has become an important
practice on many farms.