Kura Clover is an interesting option for cover cropping no-till corn producers. Why? Because Kura Clover forms a “living mulch.”
I have been working with Dr. Ken Albrecht from the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Kura Clover since the summer of 2000. During that summer as I traveled through eastern Iowa and NW Illinois I envisioned that before 2005 all of that region would have Kura Clover on it!
That never happened. But I am still very excited about Kura Clover as a feed source and cover crop.
What’s so great about Kura clover?
- Produces high yields with little additional nitrogen
- Fixes gobs of nitrogen
- Forms a “living mulch”
- Survives forever – stands last 30+ years
- Makes livestock producers/row crop farmers smile
- Provides diverse options in the field
- Saves cover croppers money – a one time investment in seed
- Controls erosion
- Is easy to work with in corn production
Why hasn’t Kura clover taken over the cover crop/forage world?
- It establishes slowly.
- It requires livestock (cattle or sheep) to be a part of the program for optimal benefit.
- You cannot plant corn into Kura Clover every year.
- You cannot plant soybeans into Kura Clover.
- It must be inoculated with a special inoculant for it to establish/thrive.
- It costs a lot in establishment year.
- There are few producers of Kura clover seed – the biggest is CISCO Seeds.