Yield of subterranean clover after post-emergence herbicide application for broadleaf weed control

  • Breanna J. O. Taylor Lincoln University
  • Rainer W. Hofmann Lincoln University
  • Derrick J. Moot Lincoln University
Keywords: Trifolium subterraneum, canopy cover, light interception


A field experiment was established in Lincoln, Canterbury in autumn 2018 to evaluate the effect of acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibiting herbicides on subterraneun (sub) clover. Two herbicides, imazethapyr and flumetsulam, were applied to seven sub clover cultivars at the 4-5 trifoliate leaf stage during July 2018. By December 2018, both herbicides had reduced the broadleaf weed yield by 1000 kg DM/ha. Sub clover herbage yield in spring (3 Oct 2018) increased only for ‘Antas’ and ‘Napier’ cultivars but all cultivars had an increase in total annual herbage yield when herbicides were applied. Plots were managed for seed set so re-establishment was examined. Imazethapyr had a longer residual than flumetsulam with greater control of broad-leaved dock (Rumex obtusifolius) eight months after application. Herbicide application had no effect on subsequent sub clover emergence the following year. This experiment demonstrated the potential to establish a pure sward of sub clover with the use of ALS inhibiting herbicides, which could be used to create a high legume base in pasture before overdrilling grass the following year.


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