White clover seed production in British Columbia

David Morton Huxley
In the Creston valley in southeastern B.C., intermediate white clover is grown for seed and is a useful crop in farm field rotations. For several years seed yields have been declining, and despite good prices and markets, hectarage to white clover is declining. In 1976, work was initiated to determine some of the factors responsible for the decline in seed yield and hectarage. At the same time, an exploratory study of the genetic variation in the seed stocks of the valley was instituted in the
more » ... instituted in the hope that a Creston strain might be characterized or selected. In 1977, in the Creston valley, a series of replicated plots in six fields, representative of the edaphic, climatic and management regimes, were established to measure seed and forage yields and losses from multiple sources. At the University of B.C., four hundred individual plants representative of twenty sources, including some Creston sources, and encompassing substantial genetic diversity, were established from seed in replicated uniform nurseries. In an adjacent nursery one hundred and eighty Creston clones were established. Observation and measurement of a number of characters were taken on all plants several times during the growing season. Average clean seed yields on the Creston experimental plots ranged from 468-972 kgs. per hectare (418-868 lbs per acre). Farm yields of clean seed, by contrast, ranged from 262-491 kgs per hectare (240 to 450 lbs per acre). It was estimated that of the loss in seed threshed (dockage) , but not cleaned, 3-10% was insect damaged; loss attributable to farm harvesting procedures was estimated to reach 50%. Losses in the developing crop are difficult to assess quantitatively but appeared to be very serious. To offset these losses, in recent years, producers have been reducing the length of white clover ley and are now in most cases obtaining one seed crop only in the year after establishment; this practice, if carried on without counter selection, might result in a biennial habit. Three species of weevil appeare [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0075132 fatcat:3u4bet5xanhuhmiriv44xug3au