Medium Red Clover as a cover crop

Medium Red Clover frost seeded into wheat provides good nitrogen production and excellent forage/green manure.

Frost seeding clover into wheat has been a standard practice for many years.  Many producers have used “60/40 Plowdown Clover” in their wheat…but in many areas that practice has stopped as double crop soybean plantings have pushed further into northern Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.  If double crop soybeans are not an option (or not desired) then a great choice for a cover crop in 2011 is Medium Red Clover.  While the 60/40 Mixture generally included 60% Mammoth Red Clover and 40% Yellow Blossom Sweetclover it seems more economical to use VNS Medium Red Clover because of the pricing of the seed this winter.  Be sure to use a pre-inoculated seed when sowing into your wheat so you get much improved clover production and N production.

Below are the advantages and disadvantages of using Medium Red Clover as a cover crop.  (This cover crop will pretty much be used in wheat acres.)

Advantages:

Advantages

  • Produces 75-100# N
  • Good root system-soil builder
  • Easy to frost seed into wheat
  • Often least cost cover crop
  • Easily killed
  • Excellent for forage

Disadvantages:

  • May get too tall in wheat and affect harvest
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