Alsike clover is a very short-lived perennial clover, often dying before two years. It is planted for hayfields, pasture and cover crops in the Midwest and North. Alsike clover is a quality forage. It does perform well in exceptionally wet soils, lower soil pHs, and it is very cold tolerant.
Forage Type: Perennial, Cool-season, Short-lived, Legume, Bunch Plant
Forage Quality: Excellent
Seeding Rate: 8-10 lbs/acre
The primary annual clovers used for forages, cover crops and food plots are berseem, crimson and arrowleaf. They are usually planted in the fall in the South and Central U.S., and they flower and die in the spring or summer. In the North, however, they can be planted in the spring for summer browsing. Winter kill often occurs in the North. Crimson is the most cold tolerant. Annual clovers are usually mixed with cereal grains, annual ryegrass, and/or brassicas for cool-season forage or food plots. As with most annual forages, annual clovers grow quickly. Berseem generally has the highest forage quality of the three.
Forage Type: Annual, Cool-season, Legume, Bunch Plant
Seeding Rate: 15-20 lbs/acre
Medium red clover is a high-yielding, shorter-lived perennial clover, although new varieties have improved persistence, often performing at a high level for three years. Red clover grows from a single crown like alfalfa or bunch grasses. It is more upright in growth than white clover and works well for hay or grazing. Red clover can grow in a variety of soil types, but does not prefer exceptionally wet soils.
Forage Type: Perennial, Cool-season, Long-lived, Legume, Bunch Plant
Seeding Rate: 15 lbs/acre
White clover consists of three types – ladino, intermediate and Dutch. Being a “spreader” and lower growing than most grasses, white clover is persistent under grazing. Of all the white clover types, ladino clover is usually the best option for hayfields, since it does grow taller and have larger leaves. Although some newer intermediate types (cross between ladino and Dutch) offer very good yields while maintaining the exceptional grazing tolerance of Dutch types. Intermediate types, therefore, can be a great option because of their versatility. Dutch types have no real advantages. White clover has exceptional forage quality. It performs best in heavy soils that hold moisture and have a neutral soil pH.
Forage Type: Perennial, Cool-season, Long-lived, Legume, Sod-forming
Seeding Rate: 6 lbs/acre