Extension/Research Information

2003 Ohio Forage Performance Trials

Ohio State University Extension
Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
The Ohio State University

Horticulture and Crop Science
Series 195
November 2003


Red Clover

        Red clover is a short-lived perennial legume grown for hay, silage, pasture and green manure crop. Red clover is better adapted than alfalfa to soils that are somewhat poorly drained and slight acidic; however, greatest production occurs on well-drained soils with high water-holding capacity and pH above 6.0. Red clover is not as productive as alfalfa in the summer. Red clover is one of the easiest legumes to establish using no-till interseeding or frost-seeding techniques. Most of the improved varieties are medium types and have good levels of disease resistance to northern and southern anthracnose and powdery mildew. These and other diseases can reduce stands quickly.

Summary of 2003 Red Clover Performance

        Red clover yields were lower than alfalfa yields at South Charleston in 2003. Significant stand loss was observed in all varieties over the season, as demonstrated by the dramatic change in stand density ratings from April to September (Table 10). Essentially complete stand loss was observed in some varieties. This trial was kept for an additional year to test varieties with good stands at the end of 2002. By the end of the 2003 growing season the stands have declined as well as yield but demonstrate improved genetics in new red clover varieties over older varieties. Several varieties persisted and performed very well in this fourth year of the stand, which is remarkable for red clover. This is the first time we have maintained red clover stands for more than three years, with no reseeding.

VarietyMarketer
ZR9906R Americas Alfalfa
ZR9908R Americas Alfalfa
Royal Red Land O Lakes
RC9803G Land O Lakes
Solid Red Caudill Seed Warehouse
NARN CISCO Seed Co.
StarFire Ampac Seed Co.
Impact Speciality Seed Co.
CW5049 Cal/West Seeds
BESKY DLF Trifolium
Amos DLF Trifolium
Dollna DLF Trifolium
Vesna DLF Trifolium



Table of Contents