Effect of cultivar, timing of establishment and cutting interval on yield and seed set of arrowleaf clover
Arrowleaf clover is an erect hard-seeded annual clover with potential to improve the typically low legume content of dryland hill country. A number of small plot experiments were undertaken to better understand arrowleaf management. Cultivar maturity impacted on single-cut yields, with later maturing cultivars (‘Arrotas’ and ‘Zulu 11’) having significantly higher yields than an early maturing cultivar (‘Cefalu’). When autumn oversowing was practised, the slow growth of arrowleaf during winter caused weed issues. Delaying sowing of arrowleaf clover from April to winter (July) did not affect dry matter yield, seed set or seed viability and avoided the need for a weed spray as the vigorous spring growth of arrowleaf out-competed weed species. Arrowleaf oversown on hill country and allowed to set seed to build a large bank of hard seed resulted in a bulk of fibrous trash that was difficult to clean-up with grazing stock. Four mowings to simulate grazing encouraged weed invasion and reduced legume yields (and trash). Whilst two mowings were optimal for seed yield, up to three mowings provided a compromise between setting seed, utilising feed for grazing and reducing trash after flowering.
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