by Jeremy Sweeten
Pasture Perfect forage mixes have been a staple product for CISCO since 1994. One of the products that I like to use on farms for pasture improvement is the Hay & Graze Clover Mix. It is 70% Gallant red clover and 30% Legacy ladino clover. Both species of clover add nitrogen to help grass growth, add diversity to improve soil health, and add protein content to the pasture. The Hay & Graze Clover Mix can add years of life and productivity to a good stand of grass.
Hay & Graze Clover Mix can be frost seeded in the late winter to early spring time frame, broadcast in the spring or fall, or drilled into an existing stand in the spring or fall. Proper seeding depth is up to 1/8” to ¼” deep, but it is okay to have seed on the soil surface if there is adequate moisture.
My experience with the clover mix has found it takes up to a year to get fully established. Don’t expect an immediate pasture improvement. It is also important to graze gently while the new clover seedlings are getting established. A pH of 6.0 to 7.0 is needed for the best performance.
The Gallant red clover is upright in growth while the Legacy ladino clover is lower growing and helps fill in around the grasses.
Bloat management is a must for using Hay & Graze Clover Mix, especially with early season growth or late fall growth. Transitioning cattle to a new feed source can take up to two weeks for the rumen to fully adjust. Consider limit feeding new spring pasture, turn animals out in the afternoon when the pasture does not have dew on it, and feed low quality hay. Also turning animals out when they are not hungry (full of hay) helps reduce bloat potential. Bloat blocks are also helpful because they help buffer the rumen against changes in diet.