Clover understorey trial

jonnyjon

Member
@chester - did you / are you going ahead with this?

I am trying a bit this year. I put a mix of white clover & yellow trefoil in under spring wheat. I only did it for half a field, partly as it's expensive stuff and partly so I can see if there is a difference, in a fairly crude way.

I used this mix from Cotwold Seeds.

Happy to report back on how it goes if anyone is interested?
I am, tried a bit in the past but clover was too large growing, suspect it would be more successful drilling the cash crop in the autumn rather than the spring like I did
 

jack6480

Member
Location
Staffs
@chester - did you / are you going ahead with this?

I am trying a bit this year. I put a mix of white clover & yellow trefoil in under spring wheat. I only did it for half a field, partly as it's expensive stuff and partly so I can see if there is a difference, in a fairly crude way.

I used this mix from Cotwold Seeds.

Happy to report back on how it goes if anyone is interested?
Iv drilled sb and spun white clover on top this spring. Plan is to drill osr as soon as the barley straws baled. Very dry since drilling so unsure what the clover will be like
 

Gbrook

New Member
I have tried yellow trefoil broadcast on SB after herbicide but the trefoil was much too vigorous and the crop did not tiller. Plan to try this with white and subterranean clover shortly and see how long I can maintain the clover.
 

New Puritan

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
East Sussex
@chester , @jonnyjon , @jack6480 & @Gbrook - how did you all get on with this?

I did half a field with white clover & yellow trefoil, under spring wheat. It did a good job of suppressing weeds but it hindered the wheat as well, and made it difficult to combine.

If I do it again I'll do a lower seed rate, and perhaps more trefoil and less clover in the mix. I also think it might be better doing it in an autumn sown crop and sowing the understory in the spring.

It doesn't seem like rocket science but I need to think about how best to do this in my rotation and on the land I farm...
 

Charles Quick

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Somerset
Tried it in linseed this year as I figured I may as well make the most of Diquat while we have it.
0.5kg/ha of Aberace (pictured), also tried some Iona and Rivendel. It just about survived standard rates of bromoxynil and Eagle, however the strip I left untreated was significantly more prolific (compare image 1 to image 3). A modest amount of nodulation all over and some surprisingly good rooting on the herbicide treated area. Very impressed by how prostrate it stayed!

No immediate yield benefit or detriment, however it has greened back up nicely, due for wheat in a few weeks and I'm hoping I won't knacker it with the pre-em. Will be trying again next year, depending on if I can get hold of some cheap pelargonic acid to replace the diquat.
 

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BigBarl

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
South Notts
what rate is everyone putting the clover on at? I've got some AberAce to try and undersow some hybrid winter barley, idea is to chuck the clover seed on before drilling. my rough thoughts are a permanent pasture mix normally has about 2.5kg/ha of white clover in it so I would try going a 2kg/ha in the understory given it's drilled in the autumn and not on the best land. i'm reading this now thinking I might be on the high side.
 
what rate is everyone putting the clover on at? I've got some AberAce to try and undersow some hybrid winter barley, idea is to chuck the clover seed on before drilling. my rough thoughts are a permanent pasture mix normally has about 2.5kg/ha of white clover in it so I would try going a 2kg/ha in the understory given it's drilled in the autumn and not on the best land. i'm reading this now thinking I might be on the high side.
Don’t you think it may end up a bit deep applying before drilling?
I’d spin on with slug pellets
 

Charles Quick

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Somerset
Clover still alive, same spot as my previous post. Not very much ground cover but the plants are there. Not looking forward to applying Broadway Star, but needs must. Left a small area untreated at pre-em which is much more prolific (but so is the meadow grass). Wheat is Extase, drilled early October. Happy to say that direct drilling has very much paid off this year!

IMG_20200225_104308981.jpg
 

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The smaller leaf white clovers are less bushy and won't grow as big and angry as the larger leaf stuff or that is the theory. It loves phosphate and needs good P and K indices to establish. It must go into warm soil and not be sown too deep as the seed is tiny. Its often very difficult to remove from a crop when you need to but conversely wiped out when you don't mean to. Keep away from ALS herbicides where possible. Hormones are a bit kinder to it.

White smaller leaf stuff also tends to be more persistent. I would not go too heavy with the seed rate as it can get very full of itself in a dry spell.
 

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Project Lamport, now in its seventh year, is the UK’s leading R&D trials event. The original concept aimed to develop a cultural approach to blackgrass control, but has since evolved over the years. The site now explores improving soil health, as well as a comprehensive research project that investigates the impact of cultivations, compaction and cover crops on soil structure, organic matter and microbiology.

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