Caucasian clover for improving summer production in northern regions of New Zealand


  • R.N. Watson
  • F.J. Neville
  • N.L. Bell
  • S.L. Harris



Caucasian clover (CC) and white clover (WC) pastures were established on a Bay of Plenty dairy farm in September 1994 and undersown with ryegrass (RG) in July 1995. Yields of mown RG- CC plots surpassed those of RG-WC plots from December to April in the second year after establishment (1995/96), producing 1362 kg (26%) extra DM/ha during this period. In 1996/97 yields of RG-CC plots surpassed those of RG-WC from October to April, producing 1531 kg (43%) extra DM/ha in December-April. In grazed RG-CC plots during December-May 1996/97, RG yields were slightly reduced (371 kg/ha, -12%) in comparison with RG-WC plots, and extra production resulted from greatly increased total legume yield (2155 kg/ha, 187%). Pasture legume content during summer-autumn averaged 24% for RG-WC and 54% for the RG-CC pastures. The superior performance of CC over WC appeared to relate to its protected underground growing points, and taproot retention, facilitating better pasture cover during summer, and greater tolerance of pests including grass grub and clover cyst nematode. Caucasian clover shows promise as a perennial legume which may offer improved availability of high quality forage at a time of year when clover growth is often insufficient for good animal performance. Caucasian clover clearly has potential in northern as well as southern regions of New Zealand. Keywords: dairy pasture, Lolium perenne, northern New Zealand, pasture pests, Trifolium ambiguum, Trifolium repens







Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>