Overseeding Clover Into An Existing Pasture

June 24, 2024

 

In this video, you can see one of our Moore Unidrill owners overseeding clover into an existing pasture.

Clover can be a large benefit to livestock production, specifically in beef cattle pastures for two main reasons. Forage yield per acre and increased nutritional availability.

Forage yield per acre

The first benefit most people think when adding clover to an existing pasture is nitrogen fixation. Clover adds nitrogen to the pasture through nutrient recycling that happens through feces and urine discretion as well as the natural cycle of plants dying and being decomposed back into the soil. It takes time for protein within the plants to be broken down to its original nitrogen building blocks. Because of this, adding clover to a pasture should be thought of as a long-term investment for increasing nitrogen availability. However, if maximum production is desired, other sources of nitrogen may need to be considered and phosphorous and potassium should be applied as indicated by soil testing. This is true especially in pastures that are harvested for hay once or twice a year.

Nutritional Availability

Nutritionally, clover’s protein benefit is a large cost savings for beef producers. Most beef cattle protein needs can be acquired with approximately 30% of the pasture stand in clover and therefore minimizes the amount of protein needed to be supplemented through other sources like soybean meal. Clover is also later maturing than most grasses and therefore offers greater palatability and fiber digestibility throughout the spring.

With so many benefits to clover, it is important to evaluate your pastures for ideal clover proportions. If more clover is needed, it is easy to introduce to pastures through over seeding or direct drilling it with a pneumatic seed drill. Check out the Moore Unidrill Grassland Seed Drill if you are looking for the machine to sow your grass and clover seed.

Looking for tips for establishing red and white clover, and managing fertility and weeds. Click Here – Establishing Clover (AHDB)