Variability in establishing white clover in pastures on farms

J.L. Brock, G.J. Kane
2003 Proceedings of the New Zealand Grassland Association  
Reported problems with inconsistent white clover establishment in pastures prompted a MAF SFF project to investigate the causes. The establishment of white clover in 32 new and renovated paddocks on 16 farms in the Wanganui-Manawatu-Southern Hawke's Bay region was monitored and the inconsistency confirmed in the f irst year. Seedling emergence at 44% (range 22 to 84) for ryegrass and 35% (range 9 to 73) for white clover was low (expected 70%+) and inappropriate grazing management inhibited
more » ... quent plant growth and sward performance to 20% of potential. There were a few good performances, but the 'grass to grass' technique was particularly hard on clover. These problems have arisen as a result of modern methods (e.g. direct drilling and fertiliser N) that are less 'clover friendly', and have moved away from the older proven techniques. Minimal seedbed preparation and method of sowing, combined with lack of knowledge of white clover growth strategies and management requirements are seen as the main causes. Change is inescapable and while modern farming techniques and expectations may have currently placed clover at a disadvantage, the challenge now is how to balance the requirements of the pasture species with the expectations of the farming production system in the future. Keywords: emergence, establishment, farmer knowledge, grazing management, life cycle, sowing conditions, white clover.
doi:10.33584/jnzg.2003.65.2497 fatcat:22yclxwslbbt5mwks6zjpj6ta4