SEED CALCULATOR ❌
Number of Plants 0
Weight 0 oz
at 0 seeds per foot
SEED CALCULATOR ❌
Number of Seeds: 0
Seeds per 100 feet: 0
Sow April 15 to June 1. Early spring seeding is generally more successful than late summer seeding. Inoculation with the correct Rhizobia bacteria is required for effective nodulation Seedling growth rate is slower than alfalfa. Seedbed preparation is very important, similar to alfalfa. Weak seedling vigor is the major problem encountered when establishing stands. Because it has a relatively slow growth rate and small seed size, good seeing practices and weed control are essential. Birdsfoot trefoil should be seeded with grasses for optimum forage production. These grasses include: timothy, smooth brome, Orchardgrass, tall fescue, reed canarygrass and perennial ryegrass. The plant reproduces by seeds, and spreads laterally by stolons and rhizomes.
Early spring or continuous grazing of birdsfoot trefoil will weaken and eliminate a stand. Rotational grazing should be used, allowing animals to graze when the first flowers appear. For use as pasture, this will allow two grazing periods on dryland pastures west of the Cascade Mountains or three grazing periods on irrigated land. If used as a combination of hay and pasture, a hay crop can be taken at early bloom in June and the re-growth grazed at first flower. On irrigated areas, two re-growths can be expected and can be used as hay or pasture. The third hay crop, or grazing period, can be expected in September. Leave 3 to 4 inches of top growth when grazing. Avoid haying or grazing between September 1st and the first killing frost to allow root reserves to accumulate for better winter survival and spring growth. Birdsfoot trefoil is persistent and has a long life when managed properly, up to 10 years.
Birdsfoot trefoil is adapted to the coastal areas west of the Cascade Range and from Minnesota and Iowa east to the New England states. It grows on many differing soil types, from sandy loams to clays. Alfalfa will out produce birdsfoot trefoil by 50 to 80 percent on well drained, fertile soils but is superior to alfalfa on soils of marginal fertility and production capabilities. For example, in areas of New York and Pennsylvania where alfalfa production is not optimal, trefoil may be a viable alternative in forage production systems. Its excellent grazing potential and bloat-free advantages make trefoil ideal for pasture. As a result, it is being grown more often in the northern United States and southern Canada, where production of other forage legumes is limited.
Minimum effective annual precipitation is 18” and is very winter hardy once established.
Birdsfoot trefoil is relatively free of insect and disease damage, it is resistant to Phytophthora root rot and numerous alfalfa insects. It does not do well in the Southeast, where it is prone to root diseases.
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Photo: Albert Herring