Red Clover



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.