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Reaper red clover – the palatable and persistent red clover

By Dairy News

Maintaining high quality milking feed over spring, summer and early autumn has always been a challenge.

While traditional grass-based pastures lose quality as they go reproductive and flower, maintaining milk yield becomes difficult.

Using high quality forage crops such as Pillar forage rape and Chico chicory can go a long way towards covering the feed gap but require full paddock preparation and an additional autumn pasture renovation.

An alternative to boosting traditional grass pastures performance over this difficult period is the addition of Reaper red clover.

The addition of legumes in a traditional grass pasture has always been acknowledged to increase animal intake and animal performance.

Unlike white clover, Reaper red clover has strong growth across spring, summer and early autumn which is critical when trying to maintain milk production over these months.

Reaper is a very palatable variety with fine stems which are less stalky than traditional types of red clover and is low in oestrogen levels.

Reaper is a high yielding, large leafed semi-erect New Zealand bred perennial red clover which is suitable for grazing, silage and hay production.

Reaper red clover has also been selected for strong winter growth making it a versatile addition to a grass pasture mix.

Reaper can be sown as a stand-alone mix for hay production or alternatively sown with ryegrass in autumn or spring if conditions allow.

An example of a solid milking pasture would include 18kg Matrix perennial ryegrass 6kg Reaper red clover and 2 kg Mantra white clover.

Reaper can be established in autumn or spring depending on local conditions.

Establishment after a spring cropping program to eradicate weed burdens will achieve the best long-term results.

Red clovers can be used in high rainfall dryland environments or summer moist conditions in free draining loam soils.

Reaper can be used successfully under irrigation with soils that don’t become waterlogged. To maximise yield, pastures containing Reaper should be rotationally grazed for best results.

If spring or summer pasture production exceeds animal grazing requirements, cutting for silage or hay is a great option to maintain feed quality.

Reaper red clover: high quality, high yielding with excellent animal performance for spring, summer and early autumn - for when you need feed the most.

Contact your local Cropmark Seeds representative to discuss your spring summer and autumn feed requirements. Specific advice is recommended to ensure correct suitability and grazing management so you get the best results on your farm.

All information is intended as a guide only. Seek further advise for specific recommendations to suit individual requirements and conditions. Results will vary depending on all the circumstances. Cropmark Seeds provides no assurances, guarantees or warranties other than those that must be provides by law. To the extent permitted by law Cropmark Seeds excludes all liability, and has no liability, however arising.

Refer to chemical label for direction of use, critical comments, grazing withholding periods and export slaughter intervals.

For further information, visit https://www.cropmarkseeds.com/Forage-Products-from-Cropmark-Seeds/Reaper-red-clover