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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 104 No. 5, p. 1217-1222
    Received: Jan 27, 2012

    * Corresponding author(s): bftracy@vt.edu
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Sowing Method Effects on Clover Establishment into Permanent Pasture

  1. David Schluetera and
  2. Benjamin Tracy *a
  1. a Virginia Tech, Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Smyth Hall (0404), Blacksurg, VA 24061


A study was conducted from 2009 to 2011 near Blacksburg, VA, to gain a better understanding of how sowing method affected establishment and persistence of clover in permanent cool-season grass pastures. Four 1.1-ha pastures were split in half and assigned a broadcasted or no-till drilled sowing treatment. Pasture treatments were sown with an equal proportion of red (Trifolium pratense L.) and white clover (Trifolium repens L.) each at 4.4 kg ha−1 in February 2009. Residual grass biomass on pastures was measured at sowing, and clover seedling density was counted 2 mo later. Grass, white clover, red clover, and weed biomass were measured four times during each growing season. Broadcast treatments had 56% more clover seedlings than drilled treatments 2 mo after sowing, but this difference was not significant (P = 0.1087). No difference (P > 0.10) for clover biomass was observed between sowing treatments in any year, yet clover establishment was considered successful (>25% of pasture composition). In the drilled treatments, clover seedling density was negatively affected by the amount of residual grass biomass present during sowing (P = 0.0196). In the broadcasted treatment, a negative quadratic relationship between clover seedling density and residual grass biomass at sowing was found (P = 0.0516). For successful establishment of clovers into permanent pastures, these data imply that removing residual grass biomass before sowing was more important than seeding method.

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Copyright © 2012. Copyright © 2012 by the American Society of Agronomy, Inc.