by Jeremy Sweeten
As we were evaluating our cover crop plots this spring, we spent some time looking at Balansa clover. The specific variety is FIXatioN.
Last fall it was seeded as a cover crop along with cereal rye. In the very early stages of growth, it was unimpressive. You had to look very close to even see if it was there. First impressions were not good.
However, as indicated by our supplier, it began to perform quite well this spring.
FIXatioN should mature about two weeks later than Dixie Crimson Clover and is capable of producing 100 lb/A of nitrogen. Its real advantage is that it handles a pH range of 4.5 to 8.0 and is a very deep tap-rooted plant. The taproot is very helpful in breaking up compaction and improving soil tilth.
Used mainly as a cover crop in the Midwest, FIXatioN also has potential as a great forage crop. It exhibits rapid recovery and can yield up to 2.5 T/A in a single cutting. It is definitely worthy of continued observation.