Flower power: How’s your clover?

New Barenburg team member, Becky Reith.

There’s no missing white clover this time of year – unless, that is, white clover is missing from your farm.

And that’s a lot more common than it used to be.

In fact, today, not many paddocks are thought to contain the 30 per cent clover recommended for optimal pasture and animal performance.

Fortunately, it’s not gone for good. If you want more clover in your pasture, you can get it back, with forward planning and attention to detail.

The best place to start is with those flowers, says local agronomist Becky Reith.

“Summer is the perfect chance to observe how much clover is actually growing on the farm, simply because it’s so visible when the plant flowers.

“You only have to glance at your paddocks to see if there are heaps of flowers, or not many at all.”

Newly appointed to the Barenbrug pasture systems team, Becky covers the upper North Island.

She encourages farmers to take note of pastures where clover is missing, and to earmark the most obvious for a helping hand this year.

“There are many reasons clover might be struggling. The beauty of thinking about this now is that you have time to trouble-shoot if necessary before looking to restore clover populations with techniques like over-sowing seed in spring.

“Soil and herbage tests, for example, can be really useful in identifying the potential cause of poor clover content. But if it’s needed, remedial fertiliser and/or lime take time to work, so it’s best to give yourself a head start.”

White clover remains a must in NZ farm systems, providing superb animal nutrition; significant amounts of free, natural nitrogen, and higher overall pasture dry matter yield.

To find out more, visit www.barenbrug.co.nz or phone Becky Reith, 021 775 387.


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