White clover in round bales

egbert

Member
Pardon my ignorance - or inexperience.
I've a field of last years seeds, stood up for 2nd cut.
And what I've grown is a dense mat of 12" deep white clover.
There's clearly some grass within it, but 90% by volume will be clover at the mo.

Will the clover 'go over' or lessen in value if I wait for more grass to appear?
I'm guessing it'll need to be baled fairly green- it needs hauling 12 miles next winter to where it'll be fed, so I usually bale stuff on that site pretty dry.
Cos I reckon if it's turned out on a sunny day, it'll go to nothing very quickly.

Oh, and I'd associate so much clover with bloat, if fed fresh.
Is that an issue baled?

Thoughts, oh wise ones?
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Clover is supposed to hold on to it’s feed value as it gets older, better than grass iirc.
What are you feeding it to, and is if a problem if the protein level drops a bit?
 

egbert

Member
Clover is supposed to hold on to it’s feed value as it gets older, better than grass iirc.
What are you feeding it to, and is if a problem if the protein level drops a bit?
if it's yum, it could be weaned suckled claves or mebbe some ewes.
If less so...there's dry sucklers!
 

Dog Bowl

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Cotswolds
That will be some lovely high protein grub
👌
I find white Clover holds onto its feed value fairly well. Red Clover tends to go 'woody' if left a while which certainly effects its feed value.
 

Sid

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
South Molton
Give it a good wilt, ted it out straight behind mower, rake it when a bit dewy.

Be aware if there is a lot of clover in it it will cause scour due to protein. Possibly over 20% Protein.
 

Sid

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
South Molton
Give it a good wilt, ted it out straight behind mower, rake it when a bit dewy.

Be aware if there is a lot of clover in it it will cause scour due to protein. Possibly over 20% Protein.
am I right in thinking you shouldn't ted clover too much, as the leaves are likely to become brittle and break up and you lose as lot of the feed value?

That's why I said the above
 

Lewis

Member
Location
Shropshire
We have one field we cut for silage like this, absolutely covered in white clover, it was direct drilled as an over seed in early May the year we had the early summer drought, thought it was a write off untill the next year, all of the clover seed must have just lay dormant and it's a corker of a field now.
 

Sid

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
South Molton
There is probably mor grass there than you think. Clover always looks like it is more than it is because the leaves are big and flat. I think I remember correctly that if it looks like it's all clover it's about 30% clover the rest will be grass. I could be wrong on the percentage but it will still be excellent feed.

Clover can look like more than there actually is you are correct.

All clover and 30% , DM or fresh weight basis?
 

egbert

Member
Clover can look like more than there actually is you are correct.

All clover and 30% , DM or fresh weight basis?
standing volume looks about 90% clover, 5% grass, and the balance docks and burr docks.
I'm intending to treat it pretty gently, and get as much of it in the bale as pos.
turned and dried like i would normally.....there'd be nothing left very quick I reckon.
 
Last edited:

andybk

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Mendips Somerset
we always used additive with (mainly) pure clover stands , as above good idea to feed a bit of straw with very high clover bales for a bit of fibre , though the red had stalks which they are all up , move as little as poss as soon as leaves go black be very careful, row when dew on ground
 

Scholsey

Member
Location
Herefordshire
Had a field that was pretty much pure white clover and couldn’t get any intakes into the cows if I zero grazed, they would stand and ball rather than eat the zero grazed white clover on its own.
 
Wilt plenty if possible
Otherwise it can be a soggy mess in a bale
All clover is better baled as dry as you can get it without loosing the leaf .
As Kev says it will turn into a black mush if not dry and can be very challenging to bale!
I always use an inoculant as fermentation can be tricky.
Get it right and you may need to dilute it with something. Have had clover bales at 24%, causing calves to scour.
 

3BFarming

Member
Livestock Farmer
We have a few fields like that around here, make for excellent feed but as mentioned above you want to ted straight behind the mower, otherwise you lose all the leaves. Key is to hopefully only ted the once, then bale within 24-36 hours for silage or be very gentle on the rake if you're making hay
 

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