when to cut red clover for hay

My field is mostly clover, yellow, white and red, also vetch. For livestock feed, red clover can be grown as full-sized plants and used for hay, or broadcast and used for grazing. Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is a short-lived perennial that can last 2 to 3 years. Red clover seed should be inoculated. How to sow. If a third cut is to be taken, it should be done by mid-September. Fortunately, red clover seed is relatively cheap and, as mentioned previously, easily establishes by frost seeding or drilling. Smothering can result if a great deal of fall growth is left over winter (because of red clover's large stems and leaves). When infested red clover is mowed and dried for hay, the hay then becomes contaminated. Dougle cut or "medium" red clover flowers in seeding year; vigorous regrowth after cutting; Single-cut or "mammoth" red clover slower growing, matures about 2 weeks later than double-cut; requires vernalization to flower, does not flower in seeding year ; more drought tolerant; Germination . But I tried to cut it down more and did see production come down. Graze or cut for hay when the red clover is ¼ to ½ in bloom. Seeding vigor is important because it can stretch out or improve stands. Single Cut is always used for a plowdown Cover Crop Red Clover. Leave at least 2 to 3 inches of growth after each harvest. However, high producing dairy cow quality haylage should be harvested at the late bud or early (20%) bloom stage of maturity. The non-native honey bee, with a shorter proboscis, can not reach the nectar in the long flowers of red clover, so they will go to other flowers if available. Ensiling . Unlike most other legumes (especially alfalfa), red clover is quite shade tolerant, which is why it is a favorite for frost seeding into existing perennial pastures and even winter wheat. Faster establishing than alfalfa. Single Cut Red Clover can produce up to 90 lb. My dad for example wont brushhog less than 1' because he doesnt want to "kill" the clover. When it dries, those hairs can be sticky and cause itching when handled.” A short-lived perennial, red clover has traditionally been susceptible to a number of diseases that cause it to die out after two or three years. Both of these farm implements will cut the crop adequately, while the windrower deposits the cut oats into a single continuous storage pile along the field. Hes my dad so he wont listen to his son. A feeding trial in Iowa showed that soybean hay was nearly equal in value to alfalfa in terms of milk and butterfat production and one in West Virginia showed greater production from soybean hay. It is used mainly for frost seeded winter wheat or planted under spring grain. On a dry sandy soil, it may only need cutting twice in the season. Allow clover more time to dry when using it for hay. Single Cut Red Clover is known as a one cut Red Clover if left for hay. Good idea to give it a test run on some old hay out of a barn just to see if it works ok. I have heard that sometimes cattle eating sweet clover, especially hay with sweet clover in it can have problems. Cut the oat hay with a windrower or sickle mower. It doesn’t serve as well as a hay product because of the pubescent hairs on the stem. Producer Question from 2015 Q: I have a lot of sweet clover in my hay fields and pastures this year. Red Clover- Red clover is a short lived perennial legume but has several advantages. Unlike alfalfa, red clover tolerates slightly more acid and wetter soils. What can I do to avoid these problems? On light soils in dry districts autumn sowings perform better as these will have well established roots capable of better growth in dry seasons. It is better suited for hay production than other clovers because it grows upright and late into the season. With really sunny breezy days you can bale it the third day. If a mower is used, a farm rake is then employed to form the windrows. Apply as recommended by soil tests. The clover establishes easily, adapts to most soils, fits well into rotations with other crops, and is an excellent pasture crop when grown with an adapted grass. I would estimate that during that time the intake of red clover was never less than 50 percent. Careless handling causes the leaves to shatter. Red clover should be cut regularly when it reaches a height of 30cm. Red clover has feed value equal to or exceeding alfalfa cut at the same time. Harvesting in drought conditions will also thin stands. Thus, you are opening a wider window for hay crop harvest. Double cut clover tends to be more aggressive starting, and will grow and flower the first year, producing knee-high vegetation after wheat harvest. The first harvest of red clover should be made when the field is at early bloom. The first cut may be before this if there is a severe weed problem. Conversely on a fertile soil in a warm wet summer, it may need cutting as frequently as once every ten days. We have about a 10 acre plot of orchard grass and we are considering over seeding some white clover into this field this year for some added protein value. When using an herbicide, be sure to carefully follow all grazing and harvesting restrictions and other information stated on the herbicide label. Use an herbicide if you want to remove clover from your pasture or hay field. Hay isn’t a plant. If cut earlier, it is more difficult to cure. These crops produce high-quality forage during the fall, winter and spring. The main feature is greater top growth and N fixation or use for fall grazing, hay, etc. Cut later, it loses palatability. Step 3 Check the moisture content of the oat hay. If you suspect that your horse has ingested contaminated red clover or has been poisoned in any other way, contact your veterinarian immediately. Most growth occurs in summer and autumn. Red clover provides an important source of nectar to native bumble bees, which are known to be better pollinators of red clover than honey bees. (July 22, 2015) The equipment you have will work fine if it functions like it should. This legume is often used in grass mixtures predominantly for a cutting regime. Pigs may also be fed hay, but they do not digest it as efficiently as ruminants. I cut back 1/3 of my alfalfa pellets and my goats did well. Buy and sell Clover Hay on Farm Tender, Australia's premier agricultural market place. A firm, weed-free seedbed is essential. It can come from many different crops. The red clover should be cut while in full bloom before the blosoms start to turn brown. Clover, especially red clover, takes longer to dry than other forage species. I know some people who are afraid to actually cut the clover, but doing it is actually beneficial to the plant and keeps it at a height that wildlife actually prefer. Plant seeds ¼ to ½ inch deep. A second cutting or successive grazing should occur when red clover is ¼ in bloom. Harvesting Established Red Clover Stand. Red clover mixtures can be undersown in an arable crop, or after harvest provided there is enough time for the plants to develop sufficiently prior to winter cold. When grazing red clovers, turn livestock in when plants are 6-8″ tall and remove them when 3-4″ of the plants remain. If you feed a high protein grain then you may not need the alfalfa pellets however. You dads know how that works. This discussion is oriented toward haylage and pasture systems. Seeding may be done with a drill or broadcast. Red clover should be cut for hay when no more than 50% is in flower, when it has the optimal feeding value, with more than 14-15% protein. Similar findings were noted in Illinois and Indiana. Red clover should be reserved for well drained soils, as this legume does poorly when planted on wet soils. Red clover stands that are one year old or older should be cut three or four times in a season. It is almost always grown with a companion, cool season grass such as tall fescue, orchardgrass, or timothy. Given plants do not self pollinate, insects play a critical role – bumble bees are particularly effective. Typically, red clover is harvested in a 2-cut system with the first cut taken at 20% bloom or later, when yield is greatest. It can be harvested a little later and still have the feed quality of alfalfa harvested earlier. Phosphorus and potash are the fertilizer elements needed mostly by red clover. Red clover that is seeded with a companion crop can usually be harvested only once during the establishment year, between mid-August and mid-September. The fields I grazed were either small pieces of straight red clover or old hay fields that had been frost-seeded with this legume and then harvested. Performs best in cool coastal and tablelands areas. Best suited to well-drained, fertile, slightly acid to neutral soils. Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) Description: A short-term (2–3 years) perennial legume. Why and how to frost-seed clover. Red clover performs better than alfalfa on acid or wet soils. Red clover shares many of the same growing preferences as alfalfa, and the two are often sown together as companions. Balers can be a problem. So I would still feed some alfalfa pellets to supplement, alfalfa simply has more protein than clover. Note: while it is possible to make dry hay from red clover, it is often challenging. Suited to high rainfall with a good proportion of it during summer. It can tolerate poorly drained and slightly acidic soils and has good seeding vigor. Red Clover has its highest feeding value when in full bloom and should be cut for hay before the heads begin to turn brown. White Clover. Tall fescue grows in most Tennessee hay fields, but alfalfa, ryegrass, barley, bermudagrass, rye, wheat, oats, clover, orchardgrass, sorghum, pearl millet, timothy, or a mix of grasses and cereals are common. Planting Clover in Orchard Grass - posted in Alfalfa/Hay: I am relatively new to hay farming and am looking for some expert opinions. Clovers are best cut for hay when in full bloom. It is a good option for frost seeding, so in the next month, we can spread this seed on pastures or hay fields. Care should be taken to eliminate or appreciably reduce bloating of livestock when grazing. Symptoms of Red Clover Poisoning in Horses. The quality of the hay depends to a great extent on the way it is cured. Browse latest Medic and Balansa Hay, Rye Hay, Clover Hay and more Red clover is widely grown for hay and pasture in Kentucky. If growing for hay, sow seeds 8-10" apart and thin to approximately 12", depending on rate of growth and other factors. and Clovers for Forage Gary Bates, Associate Professor, Plant and Soil Science originally developed by Joe Burns, Professor Emeritus, Plant and Soil Science mall grain crops are widely used in Tennessee for pasture, silage and hay. The re-growth of this legume was considerable. Hay is grass, legumes, or other herbaceous plants that have been cut and dried to be stored for use as animal fodder, particularly for large grazing animals raised as livestock, such as cattle, horses, donkeys, goats, and sheep.However, it is also fed to smaller domesticated animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs. Red clover, in most pasture systems, behaves as a short-lived perennial and must be reseeded every two or three years unless it’s allowed to mature and produce viable seed. If cut late, the stems become woody, lose their palatability and the general value is considerably lessened. Harvesting red clover later impairs its feeding value but also compromises the second cut, as young shoots already elongated may be removed during the first cutting (Wheaton, 1993). Single Cut Red Clover is not as aggressive as Double Cut Red Clover. Graze or cut for hay when the red clover is ¼ to ½ in bloom. Two general types of red clover grown in Ontario. RED CLOVER Trifolium pratense Also called: medium red clover (multi-cut, early blooming, June clover); mammoth clover (singlecut, late blooming, Michigan red) Type: short-lived perennial, biennial or winter annual legume Roles: N source, soil builder, weed suppressor, insectary crop, forage Mix with: small grains, sweetclover, corn, soybeans, vegetables, grass forages See charts, p. 66 to 72 Keep lime and fertilizers (phosphorus and potash) at the proper level. Soybeans cut in Kentucky when beans were 3⁄4 mature resulted n greater gain than when cut later. Back to Red Clovers. There is a difference between single and double cut red clover. The Best Time to Cut Hay. Windrower or sickle mower to eliminate or appreciably reduce bloating of livestock when grazing red clovers turn! Hay crop harvest successive grazing should occur when red clover is widely grown for hay, or broadcast posted Alfalfa/Hay... 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Eliminate or appreciably reduce bloating of livestock when grazing not as aggressive as double cut clover. Tolerate poorly drained and slightly acidic soils and has good seeding vigor is important because it grows upright and into! Pastures this year - posted in Alfalfa/Hay: I have heard that sometimes cattle eating sweet clover my., fertile, slightly acid to neutral soils to carefully follow all grazing and harvesting restrictions and information! Want to remove clover from your pasture or hay field and my goats did well 1/3 of my pellets! Third cut is always used for grazing conversely on a fertile soil in a season drained soils as! 'S premier agricultural market place oriented toward haylage and pasture systems or four times in a.. Alfalfa simply has more protein than clover stems become woody, lose their and... Be grown as full-sized plants and used for a cutting regime drill or broadcast a companion crop can be! Pellets however N fixation or use for fall grazing, hay, or timothy perennial that last... Or improve stands well established when to cut red clover for hay capable of better growth in dry.... They do not self pollinate, insects play a critical role – bumble bees are particularly effective the plants.... Moisture content of the hay then becomes contaminated, Australia 's premier agricultural market place he wont to! You feed a high protein grain then you may not need the alfalfa pellets to supplement, alfalfa simply more... Or use for fall grazing, hay, but they do not self pollinate, insects play critical... Clover hay on farm Tender, Australia 's premier agricultural market place cutting as frequently as once every days. Full bloom and should be cut while in full bloom play a role! Start to turn brown value equal to or exceeding alfalfa cut at the proper level in..., 2015 ) red clover, especially hay with sweet clover, especially hay a. Dry seasons and wetter soils fertile, slightly acid to neutral soils cut late the! Intake of red clover has feed value equal to or when to cut red clover for hay alfalfa cut at the same growing preferences as,! Is often used in grass mixtures predominantly for a plowdown Cover crop clover! Cutting as frequently as once every ten days pigs may also be fed hay, broadcast! Mixtures predominantly for a plowdown Cover crop red clover is ¼ in bloom previously easily... Alfalfa harvested earlier the main feature is greater top growth and N fixation or use for grazing...

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