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Crop, Forage and Turfgrass Management Abstract - Forage & Grazinglands

Performance of Heifers Grazing Bermudagrass Pastures Strip or Solid Seeded with Clovers


This article in CFTM

  1. Vol. 3 No. 1
    unlockOPEN ACCESS
    Received: Aug 16, 2016
    Accepted: Jan 19, 2017
    Published: March 10, 2017

    * Corresponding author(s): pbeck@uaex.edu
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  1. Paul A. Beck *a,
  2. C. Brandon Stewarta,
  3. John A. Jenningsb,
  4. Devesh Singhc and
  5. M. B. Simsa
  1. a  Univ. of Arkansas, Div. of Agriculture, Southwest Research & Extension Center, Hope, AR 71801
    a Univ. of Arkansas, Div. of Agriculture, Southwest Research & Extension Center, Hope, AR 71801
    b Univ. of Arkansas, Div. of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, Little Rock, AR 72204
    c BarenbrugUSA, Tangent, OR
Core Ideas:
  • Strip-seeding of clovers into bermudagrass swards resulted in similar clover stand percentage compared with solid planting of clovers.
  • Heifers grazing pastures that were strip seeded performed similarly to heifers grazing clovers that were seeded in solid stands.
  • Red clovers persisted longer into the summer than either white or subterranean clovers.
  • Red clover provided greater animal performance than white and subterranean clovers.


Even though clovers can provide improved forage quality and reduced N fertilization when grazing stocker calves on warm-season grass pastures, stand establishment remains a concern. The objective of this research was to determine if alternative methods of seeding legumes into warm-season perennial swards could improve legume establishment. This research took place on 18, four-acre mixed bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.], crabgrass [Digitaria ciliaris (Retz.) Koeler], and dallisgrass (Paspalum dilatatum Poir.) pastures at the University of Arkansas Southwest Research and Extension Center Stocker Unit. Pastures were seeded in October of 2013 to white (Trifolium repens L.), red (Trifolium pratense L.), or subterranean (Trifolium subterraneum L.) clovers either in solid stands at the recommended rate (2.0, 8.0, and 11 lb/acre, respectively) or in four 0.25-acre strips at twice the recommended seeding rate in a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments with three pasture replications per treatment combination. Growing heifers (n = 216; 614 ± 44.4 lb) grazed pastures from May to September 2014 and April to September 2015. Red clover was present later into the summer than white or subterranean clovers, but there were no differences due to seeding method. At the end of the grazing season, heifer bodyweight and gain was greater when grazing red clover than when grazing subterranean clover. Strip-seeded clovers in only 50% of the pasture area provided similar stands to conventional solid seeding and equivalent animal performance. Red clover grew later into the summer grazing season and provided greater animal performance than white and subterranean clovers.

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