Still time to frost-seed clover in wheat

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Clover cover crops incorporated in field rotations can improve sugarbeet yields and reduce nitrogen inputs. Growers are highly encouraged to establish frost-seeded clover into their wheat this spring as a long-term approach for improving soil quality. It is a relatively easy and cost effective way to improve the following sugarbeet crop. Frost seeding red clover can be successful even in high-yielding wheat with no detrimental impact on wheat yields.

Red clover is Michigan’s most common cover crop. It is normally frost seeded into wheat in March. Michigan mammoth and June clover (also known as medium red clover) have been shown to perform better than other red clovers frost seeded into well fertilized wheat. A seeding rate between 10-12 pounds per acre has performed very well and can be applied with dry fertilizer if thoroughly blended and applied evenly. However, many clover growers prefer to apply clover with a small spreader and a utility vehicle which allows them to spread seed on soft soils. This method usually results in the best stands since the clover seed is spread while there are still freezing and thawing cycles that incorporate the seed into the soil.

Multiple benefits are derived from clover cover crops such as nitrogen production, reduced diseases and improved beet yields. Clover is a proven soil builder and can supply 40-60 pounds of nitrogen to the following crop. Grower-applied nitrogen rates should be reduced because excess nitrogen will reduce beet quality. In the past couple years, Sugarbeet Advancement trials have demonstrated a dip in sugarbeet quality following clover cover crops where the growers did not reduce their nitrogen rate.

click image to zoom Recent field trials conducted by Michigan State University Extension/Sugarbeet Advancement have shown yield improvements ranging from 1 to 3 tons/acre which is similar to improvements with oilseed radish in fields with known sugarbeet cyst nematodes (Chart 1). The yield improvement depends on the growth/density of the clover as well as disease and nematode issues in the field. Fields trials have shown a significant reduction in Rhizoctonia root rot on sugarbeets. Research conducted at the MSU Bean and Beet Research Farm has shown positive crop yield responses lasting more than one year from clover.

Clover should be incorporated into the soil late in the fall when soil temperatures are below 50 degrees either by mold board or chisel plowing. This will maximize growth of the clover and retain the most nitrogen for the following crop. Incorporating clover too early in the fall will allow for increased microbial breakdown and potential loss of the nitrogen.  Many growers will apply a glyphosate application prior to fall tillage to improve control if chisel plowing. Stinger herbicide can also be used to control volunteer clover during the beet growing season.


Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


Quickveyor

Made of high quality 304 stainless steel, the Quickveyor is one of the strongest trailers on the market. It’s belt ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form