Group Title: Indian River Field Laboratory mimeo report
Title: White clover varieties and planting dates in South Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: White clover varieties and planting dates in South Florida a progress report
Series Title: Indian River Field Laboratory mimeo report
Physical Description: 5 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Kretschmer, Albert E ( Albert Emil ), 1925-
Indian River Field Laboratory
Publisher: Indian River Field Laboratory
Place of Publication: Fort Pierce Fla
Publication Date: [1958]
Subject: White clover -- Varieties -- Florida   ( lcsh )
White clover -- Planting -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: Albert E. Kretschmer, Jr.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "September 5, 1958."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00056014
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 69367202

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The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.

Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida

Indian River Field Laboratory Mimeo Report 59-1


Albert E. Kretschmer, Jr./

The genus Trifolium compriseW approximately 250 species of which about
25 are of agricultural importance. One of these is white clover.

White clover, Trifolium repens, has been proved the best natural reseed-
ing legume for grazing in south Florida. Most Louisiana grown varieties of
this species produce abundant seed in south Florida, and many times act as
perennials by living through the summer season. White clover is considered
native to all countries of western Europe and has spread to North America,
where it can be found from Newfoundland to British Columbia and from Florida
to California. Three types of white clover are recognized. They are: (1)
the large type represented by Ladino, (2) the intermediate type such as
Louisiana white ("white dutch"), New Zealand white and Louisiana Sl, and (3)
the low growing varieties to vwich some of the wild white clovers and certain
northern lawn clovers belong.&/ The differences among them are in size and in
general performance with respect to their environment. A considerable
variability exists between individual varieties in the same type as indicated
by their ability to grow under diverse environments. Most white clover seeds
are a result of cross-pollination. This factor is responsible for the slow
process of natural selection that would result in a change in the overall
characteristics of clover growing in the same field over a period of years.
If vigorous, drought resistance characteristics become dominant the rancher
would be fortunate. However, if low-growing characteristics become dominant
forage production might be reduced considerably. Also, because of natural
selection, seed produced in one area may have an entirely different.- of -
characteristics from that produced in another area, even though s -i1ye
previously both areas were planted with seed from a common lot. ,

There has been increased interest in the South for a whit over t
has increased summer live-over characteristics, vigorous growth bits and
increased drought resistance. Several varieties are being test sing
commercial white clover varieties for comparison.

Ladino white clover has been grown successfully in the North and
It grows larger than the regular white varieties. In Florida, it fails to
produce seed because of the relatively short day length.

Nolin's Improved white clover was originated by Hamburg Mills, Hamburg,
Louisiana. It was a result of careful cross-pollination of foreign and
native clovers, and is said to possess the vigorous characteristics of a

1/ Associate Agronomist, University of Florida Agricultural Experiment
Station, Indian River Field Laboratory, Fort Pierce, Florida.

2/ Owen, C. R. Louisiana S1 white clover. La. Agr. Expt. Sta. Bul. 479,

September 5, 1958

Louisiana S1 white clover was a result of a breeding program initiated in
Louisiana in 1945, in an effort to establish within Louisiana a white clover
variety with more heat and drought resistance. By planting selected seed from
white clover plants that had survived the summer, and reclassifying the plants
grown from this seed that had lived through the first summer on a basis of
maximum growth, 25 out of about 4,000 plants were finally selected. After two
years of further evaluation studies of the selected clones, five were found to
be superior and were used in the clonal combination of Louisiana S1. Each of
the five had previously lived continuously for three years, and all five were
utilized through natural pollination by recombination into a synthetic
variety, Louisiana Sl.

In Louisiana, the S1 variety is far superior to regular Louisiana white
and Ladino from late fall and early winter until May. S1 seed production was
equal to that of the common varieties.

To determine the value of the improved varieties grown on sandy soils in
south Florida, experiments were conducted in the fall of 1956 and 1957. In
1956 comparisons of yields were made for Louisiana Si, Nolin's Improved,
Ladino and commercial Louisiana white ("white dutch") clovers. These were
seeded on August 27 and October 2, 1956, each in triplicate, to clean fallow
Immokalee fine sand that had been adequately limed and had previously grown
tomatoes. Yields are presented in Table 1. The S1 and Nolin varieties were
equal to Ladino and far superior to the regular white.

On August 27, September 24, and October 22, 1957, Sl, Nolin's, a regular
variety of Louisiana white, and seed obtained in 1957 from a November, 1952
planting of Louisiana Improved white at the Indian River Field Laboratory,
were planted on Immokelee fine sand that had previously produced tomatoes.
Three of the four replicates were on clean fallow soil and the fourth was on
Pensacola bahiagrass sod that was mowed and disked lightly prior to planting
the clovers. Seed on the clean fallow plots were lightly raked into the soil
while those on the sod were applied to the surface. All plots received 500:'
pounds of 0-10-20 fertilizer plus minor elements rt planting. The August
seeded plots produced forage much earlier than the Ssptember and October
plots. Germination in most of the October seeded plots was delayed by a short
period of drought immediately following seeding. Subsequently enough seed
germinated to permit a fairly good stand. Clover growth on the sod plots
was equal or superior to that on the clean fallow plots. Growth of all plots
was much slower than in the 1956-57 season because of the extremely cold

Yields from harvests on March 11 and May 15, 1958 and visual ratings
of growth and vigor obtained July 8, 1958 are shown in Table 2. Louisiana
S1 was superior to all other varieties in this experiment. Nolin's Improved
was second in performance. The ratings indicated the ability of the S1 to
withstand summer temperatures. Observations made August 11 showed that Sl
was the only clover that was producing forage. It appeared to be slightly
less vigorous than in July, but still was maintaining a fair coverage. The
other varieties had almost completely died.

Further evidence of the ability of S1 to withstand the summer environment
was obtained from two observation plots of SI that were planted in the spring
of 1957. These plants survived the summer of 1957, and were growing well
September 1, 1958.

S1 did not bloom as early as the commercial varieties. Nolin's Improved
bloomed earlier than S1, but later than the commercial varieties. Observations

indicated that S1 did not produce as much seed as did the Nolin's or regular
white varieties. However, 81 seed production was more than adequate for natural
reseeding purposes.


Generally the earliest date now recommended for planting white clover is
mid-October. Planting from that time through early spring usually has resulted
in satisfactory clover standsB, Vhen planted in October, however, white clover
normally would afford iittie graziia the first year before late January. To
permit grazing in fov~dbei aid Ddemi~ the seed would have to be planted before
October. White clover is knotM 1d row best with relatively long day lengths
and when air temperatures are about 750 F. In the fall these conditions usual-
ly are met in September and October. It is necessary to have young plants
already established at this time in order to obtain early growth.

Dates of planting experiments were conducted in 1956 and 1957 to determine
whether early clover plantings would be successful. In 1956 yields of all
white clover varieties planted August 31 were much greater than those planted
October 2 (see Table 1). Forage production from the latter planting date did
not equal that from the early date until the March harvest. In 1957, similar
results were obtained as shown in Table 2. Practically no clover growth had
occurred for plots planted in November at the time of the March 11 harvest.
Plots seeded in August were superior to those planted later.

It appeared from these data that planting white clover the last of August
or early September is not only possible, but necessary if early winter grazing
is desired. Under the conditions of early planting, however, the problems of
soil moisture, fertilization, liming, and grass competition have to be more
critically controlled.

If clover is to be planted in an established grass pasture, care must be
taken to hinder or eliminate grass growth during the time after seeding. This
can be done by close grazing and, or, very close mowing with a rotary mower,
or risking. Mowing and burning prior to seeding also would help to reduce
grass competition. The area should not have received any nitrogen for at least
two months prior to planting. The pasture should be disked once or twice just
before seeding to allow some of the seed to be buried. Good surface moisture
is absolutely essential at time of planting. Clover may then be seeded broad-
cast, or a cultipacker can be used. Dragging or rolling the area after seeding
is suggested. Fertilizer should be applied before or the same day of seeding
to insure rapid early growth. No nitrogen should be used, especially if the
clover is seeded in a grass pasture. Standing water must be removed rapidly
in order to prevent the clover seedlings from drowning or "scalding".


In experiments during the past two years Louisiana S1 clover was equal to
Nolin's Improved in one test and superior in the other trial. Both of these
varieties were superior to the commercial varieties tested in each experiment.
Ladino was equal to Sl and Nolin's Improved but failed to produce seed. Seed
production from Sl was not as early or apparently as large as that from Nolin's
or the commercial varieties. Besides producing more forage, S1 appeared to be
more drought and heat resistant than the other varieties.

White clovers can be. planted successfully in late August and will be ready
for grazing as early as November under ideal conditions.

Table 1. Average Dry Weight Yields, In Pounds Per Acre of Four White Clover
Varieties Planted at Different Dates.

Planting Date
Harvest August 31, October 2,
Variety Date 1956 1956 Average

1. Louisiana 81 Dec.7 960 0 960
Dec.28 300 190 245
Feb.14 1230 1000 1115
Mar.27 940 950 945
May 7* 640 640 640
June 21* 740 740 740
Total 4810 3520 165

2. Nolin's Improved Dec.7 810 0 810
Dec.28 390 260 325
Feb. 14 1110 850 980
Mar.27 1250 1030 1140
May 7* 610 610 610
June 21* 750 750 750
Total 4920 3500 4210

3. Ladino Dec.7 780 0 780
Dec.28 390 230 310
Feb.14 950 830 890
Mar.27 970 910 940
May 7* 840 840 840
June 24* 960 960 960
Total 4890 3770 4330

4. Regular Louisiana Dec.7 250 0 250
Dec,28 210 270 255
Feb.14 950 700 825
Mar.27 820 660 740
May 7* 430 430 430
June 24* 440 440 440
Total 3130 2500 2815

Only the August planted plots were harvested. After the March harvest, yields
of plots from both planting dates were assumed to be equal.

Table 2. Average Dry Weight Yields in Pounds Per Acre of Four White Clover
Varieties Planted at Different Dates

Date of Planting Date RatingS/
Variety Harvest 8/27/57 9/24/57 10/22/57 Ave. 7/8/58

1. Louisiana Sl Mar. 11 530 180 20 240 3.6
May 15 2200 2000 1050 1820
Total 2730 2380 1070 2060

2. Nolin's Improved Mar. 11 430 30 0 150 2.6
May 15 1400 1300 780 1160
Total 1830 1330 780 1310

3. IRFL grown seed Mar. 11 390 110 0 170 1.3
collected 1957 from May 15 1050 780 520 780
a 1952 planting of Total 1I40 890 520 950
Improved white

4. Regular Louisiana Mar. 11 380 10 0 130 1.7
May 15 1050 1050 780 960
Total 1430 1060 780 1090

1/ Growth plus vigor: 1 : none to poor, 2 : poor to fair, 3 = fair to good,
4 = good to excellent.

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