Purchase Improved Clovers for Frost Seeding Now

Adding white and red clover to Kentucky pastures  and hayfields is an excellent way to improve forage quality, forage yield, reduce fescue toxicity, and provide free nitrogen through N fixation. Frost seeding is mid-February is usually considered the ideal time, but anytime in February is ok and even late January. The important thing is to have the seed on the ground when there are still 4-6 weeks of potential below freezing temperatures to allow sufficient “frost heaving” so the seed will be buried.

Right now is the time to buy clover seed of improved varieties. If you wait until mid-February the best varieties may be sold out. Go to the “2016 Long-Term Summary Report” discussed above to choose the best varieties. For example, page 9 shows the highest yielding white clover varieties and page 7 shows the varieties that have the best tolerance to grazing. With white clover, many producers choose a variety that shows both good grazing tolerance and high yield. Variety choice definitely makes a difference. The lowest yielding white clover variety in our trials was only 67% of average while the highest yielding was 132% above average.