Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Grazing trials
 Management of clover-grass...
 Literature cited

Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station ; 517
Title: Winter clovers in central Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027654/00001
 Material Information
Title: Winter clovers in central Florida
Series Title: Bulletin - University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station ; 517
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Hodges, E. M.
Jones, D. W.
Kirk, W. G.
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Publication Date: 1953
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027654
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Table of Contents
        Page 4
    Grazing trials
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Management of clover-grass pastures
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Literature cited
        Page 23
Full Text

Bulletin 517


(A Contribution from the Range Cattle Station)

Winter Clovers in Central Florida


Fig. 1.-Yearling cattle on clover-Carpet grass pasture were in excellent
condition on September 13. (Compare Fig. 2.)

March 1953


Frank M. Harris, Chairman, St. Petersburg
Hollis Rinehart, Miami
Eli H. Fink, Jacksonville
George J. White, Sr., Mount Dora
Mrs. Alfred I. duPont, Jacksonville
George W. English, Jr., Ft. Lauderdale
W. Glenn Miller, Monticello
W. F. Powers, Secretary, Tallahassee

J. Hillis Miller, Ph.D., Presidents
J. Wayne Reitz, Ph.D., Provost for Agr.3
Willard M. Fifield, M.S., Director
J. R. Beckenbach, Ph.D., Asso. Director
L. O. Gratz, Ph.D., Assistant Director
Rogers L. Bartley, B.S., Admin. Mgr.8
Geo. R. Freeman, B.S., Farm Superintendent


H. G. Hamilton, Ph.D., Agr. Economist1 3
R. E. L. Greene, Ph.D., Agr. Economist 3
M. A. Brooker, Ph.D., Agr. Economist 3
Zach Savage, M.S.A., Associate
A. H. Spurlock, M.S.A., Associate
D. E. Alleger, M.S.. Associate
D. L. Brooke, M.S.A., Associate
M. R. Godwin, Ph.D., Associate
W, K. McPherson, M.S., Economist 3
Eric Thor, M.S., Asso. Agr. Economist a
J. L. Tennant, Ph.D., Agr. Economist
Cecil N. Smith, M.A., Asso. Agr. Economist
Levi A. Powell, Sr., M.S.A., Assistant
Orlando, Florida (Cooperative USDA)
G. Norman Rose, B.S., Asso. Agri. Economist
J. C. Townsend, Jr., B.S.A., Agricultural
J. B. Owens, B.S.A., Agr. Statistician 2
J. K. Lankford, B.S., Agr. Statistician

Frazier Rogers, M.S.A., Agr. Engineer 3
J. M. Myers, B.S., Asso. Agr. Engineer
J. S. Norton, M.S., Asst. Agr. Eng.

Fred H. Hull, Ph.D., Agronomist 1
G. B. Killinger, Ph.D., Agronomist
H. C. Harris, Ph.D., Agronomist
R. W. Bledsoe, Ph.D., Agronomist
W. A. Carver, Ph.D., Associate
Darrel D. Morey, Ph.D., Associate2
Fred A. Clark, M.S., Assistant2
Myron G. Grennell, B.S.A.E., Assistant
E. S. Horner, Ph.D., Assistant
A. T. Wallace, Ph.D., Assistant 3
D. E. McCloud, Ph.D., Assistant
G. C. Nutter, Ph.D., Asst. Agronomist

T. J. Cunha, Ph.D., An. Husb.' 3
G. K. Davis, Ph.D., Animal Nutritionist 3
S. John Folks, Jr., M.S.A., Asst. An. Hush. 3
A. M. Pearson, Ph.D.. Asso. An. Hush.a
John P. Feaster, Ph.D., Asst. An. Natri.
H. D. Wallace, Ph.D., Asst. An. Husb.:
M. Koger, Ph.D., An. Husbandman 3
E. F. Johnston, M.S., Asst. An. Husn. 3
J. F. Hentges, Jr., Ph.D'., Asst. An. Husb. I
L. R. Arrington, Ph.D., Asst. Biochemist

E. L. Fouts, Ph.D., Dairy Tech.1
R. B. Becker, Ph.D., Dairy Husb.3
S. P. Marshall, Ph.D., Asso. Dairy Husb.3
W. A. Krienke, M.S., Asso. Dairy Tech.3
P. T. Dix Arnold, M.S.A., Asst. Dairy Husb. h
Leon Mull, Ph.D., Asso. Dairy Tech. a
H. H. Wilkowske, Ph.D., Asst. Dairy Tech. 3
James M. Wing, Ph.D., Asst. Dairy Hush.

J. Francis Cooper, M.S.A., Editor3
Clyde Beale, A.B.J., Associate Editor 3
L. Odell Griffith, B.A.J., Asst. Editor
J. N. Joiner, B.S.A., Assistant Editor 3
William G. Mitchell, A.B.J., Assistant Editor

A. N. Tissot, Ph.D., Entomologist'
L. C. Kuitert, Ph.D., Associate
H. E. Bratley, M.S.A., Assistant
F. A. Robinson, M.S., Asst. Apiculturist
R. E. Waites, Ph.D., Asst. Entomologist

Ouida D. Abbott, Ph.D., Home Econ.1
R. B. French. Ph.D., Biochemist

G. H. Blackmon, M.S.A., Horticulturist 1
F. S. Jamison, Ph.D., Horticulturist :L
Albert P. Lorz, Ph.D., Horticulturist
R. K. Showalter, M.S., Asso. Hort.
R. A. Dennison, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.
R. H. Sharpe, M.S., Asso. Horticulturist
V. F. Nettles, Ph.D., Asso. Horticulturist
F. S. Lagasse, Ph.D., Horticulturist
R. D. Dickey, M.S.A., Asso. Hort.
L. H. Halsey, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.
C. B. Hall, Ph.D., Asst. Horticulturist
Austin Griffiths, Jr., B.S., Asst. Hort.
S. E. McFadden, Jr., Ph.D., Asst. Hort.
C. H. VanMiddelem, Ph.D., Asst. Biochemist
Buford D. Thompson, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.
James Montelaro, Ph.D., Asst. Horticulturist
M. W. Hoover, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.

Ida Keeling Cresap, Librarian

W. B. Tisdale, Ph.D.. Plant Pathologist
Phares Decker, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
Erdman West, M.S., Mycologist and
Botanist 3
Robert W. Earhart, Ph.D., Plant Path.2
Howard N. Miller, Ph.D., Asso. Plant. Path.
Lillian E. Arnold, M.S., Asst. Botanist
C. W. Anderson, Ph.D., Asst. Plant Path.

N. R. Mehrhof, M.Agr., Poultry Husb.' 3
J. C. Driggers, Ph.D., Asso. Poultry Hush.

F. B. Smith Ph.D., Microbiologist 1
Gaylord M. Volk, Ph.D., Soils Chemist
J. R. Neller, Ph.D., Soils Chemist
Nathan Gammon, Jr., Ph.D., Soils Chemist
Ralph G. Leighty, B.S., Asst. Soil Surveyor 2
G. D. Thornton, Ph.D., Asso. Microbiologist
Charles F. Eno, Ph.D., Asst. Soils Micro-
H. W. Winsor, B.S.A., Assistant Chemist
R. E. Caldwell, M.S.A., Asst. Chemist34
V. W. Carlisle, B.S., Asst. Soil Surveyor
J. H. Walker, M.S.A., Asst. Soil Surveyor
S. N. Edson, M. S., Asst. Soil Surveyor
William K. Robertson, Ph.D., Asst. Chemist
O. E. Cruz, B.S.A., Asst. Soil Surveyor
W. G. Blue, Ph.D., Asst. Biochemist
J. G. A. Fiskel, Ph.D., Asst. Biochemist :
L. C. Hammond, Ph.D., Asst. Soil Physicist 3
H. L. Breland, Ph.D., Asst. Soils Chem.

D. A. Sanders, D.V.M.. Veterinarian 1 3
M. W. Emmel, D.V.M., Veterinarian
C. F. Simpson, D.V.M., Asso. Veterinarian
L. E. Swanson, D.V.M., Parasitologist
Glenn Van Ness, D.V.M., Asso. Poultry
Pathologist 3
W. R. Dennis, D.V.M., Asst. Parasitologist
E. W. Swarthout, D.V.M., Asso. Poultry
Pathologist (Dade City)


W. C. Rhoades, Jr., M.S., Entomologist in
R. R. Iincaid, Ph.D.. Plant Pathologist
L. G. Thompson, Jr.. Ph.D.. Soils Chemist
W. H. Chapman, M.S.. A-so. Agronomist
Frank S. Baker. Jr.. B.S.. A-t. An. IHutb.
T. E. Webb ,*.S.A.. A;At. A~ronomist
Frank E. Guthrie, Ph.D., Asst. Entomlogist
Mobile Unit, Monticello
R. W. Wallace, B.S., A.suciate Agronomist
Mobile Unit, Marianna
R. W. Lipscomb, M.S., Associate Agronomist
Mobile Unit, Pensacola
R. L. Smith, MI.S., Associate Agronomist
Mobile Unit, Chipley
J. B. White, B.S.A., Associate Agronomist

A. F. Camp, Ph.D., Vice-Director in Charge
W. L. Thompson. B.S.. Enton logi-t
R. IF. Suit, Ph.D., Plant Patholgi t
E. P. Ducharme, Ph.D., As o. Plant Path.
C. R. Stearns, Jr., B.S.A., As o. Chemist
J. W. Sites, Ph.D.. Hrticulturi t
H. O. Sterling, B.S., A st. Horticulturist
H. J. Reitz, Ph.D., Horticulturist
Francine FIisher. 1.S., Aot. Plant Path.
1. W. Wander, Ph.D., Soils Chemist
J. W. Kesterson, M.S., Asso. Chemist
R. Hendrickson. B.S.. Asst. Chemist
Ivan Stewart, Ph.D., Asst. Biochemist
D. S. ProTser, Jr., B.S Asst. Horticulturist
R. W. Olsen, B.S., liicchemint
. W. Wenzel, Jr., Ph.D., Chemiist
Alvin H. Rouse. M.S., As-o. Chemi t
H. W. Ford, Ph.D., A.-t. IlIrticulturist
L. C. Knorr, Ph.D., As-'. Hi-tologist 4
R. AI. Pratt, Ph.D., A-,. Ent.-Patholouist
J. W. Davis, B.S.A.. A-t. in Ent.-Pah.
W. A. SltiaI ton. Ph.D Entomoloist
E. J. Deszyck, Ph.D.. A ,-,. Hitticulturi.st
C. D'. Leonard, Ph.D.. Asso. Horticulturist
W. T. L.nn, M.S.. A-st. Horticulturist
AIl. II. l!uma, Ph.D., A-o. Entomologist
F. J. Reynolds, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.
W. F. Spencer, Ph.).. Ast. Chem.
I. H. Holtsberg, B.S.A., Asst. Ento.-Path.
K. G. Townsend, B.S.A., Asst. Ento.-Path.
J. B. Weeks, B.S., A--t. Ent'.-I'ath.
R. li. Johnson, Ph.D., A-st. Ent,,molo'ist
W. 1 Newhall, Ph.D.. A s;. Biochem.
W. F. Grierson-Jac.k-n, Ph.D.. Al t. Chem.
Roger Patrick. Ph.D.. Iacterioloisit
Marion F. Oberbacher, Ph.D., Ast. Plant
Evert J. Elvin, B.S., Ast. Hrticulturi t

W. T. Foresee, Jr., Ph.D.. Chemist in CIhare
R. V. Allison, Ph.D., Fiber Technologist
Thomas Bregger, Ph.D., Physeilogist
J. W. Randolph, M.S., Agricultural Engr.
R. W. Kidder, NM.S., Asso. Animal IHusb.
C. C. Scale, Assoc ate Agronomist
N. C. Hayslip, B.S.A., Asso. Entomtoloist
E. A. Wolf, M.S Aist. Horticulturist
W. H. Thames, M.S., Ast. Entomologist
W. N. Sooner. Ph.D.. A -t. Plant Path.
W. G. Genune. P.S.A., A-it. Entoimolhist
Frank V. Stevenson, IM.S., Asso. Plant Path.
Robert J. Alien, Ph.D.. AQ-t. Aironomist
V. E. Green, Ph.D., A."t. Arnnmist
J. F. Darby. Ph.D.. :As,. Plant Path.
H. L. Chapman, Jr.. lM.S.A.. As,-. An. Huh.
V. L. Guzman, Ph.D., Asst. Hort.
M. R. Bedsole, M.S.A.. Asst. Chem.
J. C. Stephens, B.S., Drainage Engineer"2
A. E. Kretschmer, Jr., Ph.D., Asst. Soils

Geo. D. Ruehle, Ph.D.. Vice-Dir. in Charge
D. 0. Wolfenbarger, Ph.D., Entomologist
Francis B. Lincuin. Ph.D., Horticulturist
Robert A. Conover. Ph.D.. Plant Path.
John L. Malcolm, Ph.D., Asso. Soils Chemist
R. W. Harkness. Ph.D.. A.st. Chemist
R. Bruce Lelin. Ph.D., Asst. Hort.
J. C. Noonan. MI.S.. Asst. Hort.
M. H. Gallatin, B.S., Soil Conservationist -

M3arian WV. Hazen, 3I.S., Animal Husband-
man in Charge '

W. G. Kirk, Ph.D.. Vice-Director in Charge
E. Al. Hodges. Ph.D., Agronomist
D. W. Jones. M.S., Asst. Soil Technologist
F 1. Pracock, IM.S A st. Animal Husb.

R. IV. Ruprecht, Ph.D., Vice-Dir. in Charge
J. W. Wilson. Sc.D.. Entomologist
P. J. We toate, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.
Ben. F. Whitner, Jr., B.S.A., Asst. Hort.
Geo. Swank, Jr., Ph.D., Asst. Plant Path.

C. E. Hutton. Ph.D., Vice-Director in Charge
H W. Lundy, B.S.A.. Associate Agronomist
AW. R. Langford, Ph.D., Asst. Agronomist

G. E. Ritchey, 3I.S., Agronomist in Charge

E. I. Siencit, Ph.D., Soils Chemist in Charge
E. Kel eimer, Ph.D., Entomologist
Datidi G. A. Kelbert, Asso. Horticulturist
Ro Oert 0. lMagie. Ph.D.. Plant Pathologist
J. AM. Walter, Ph.D.. Plant Pathologist
Donahl S. Bureis, M1.S.A., Asst. Hort.
C. MA. Geraldson, Ph.D., Asst. Horticulturist
Amneda Jack, M3.S., Asst. Soils Chemist


Watermelon. Grape, Pasture-Leesburg
J. AI. Crall, Ph.D., Associate Plant Path-
ologiAt Acting in Charge
C. C. Helms, Jr., B.S., Asst. Agronomist
L. H. Stover, As-istant in Horticulture

Strawberry-Plant City
A. N. Brooks, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist

A. H. Eddins, Ph.D.. Plant Path. in Charge
E. N. McCubbin. Ph.D., Horticulturist
T. M. Dobrovsky, Ph.D., Asst. Entomologist

A. 1. Phillips, B.S., Asso. Entomologist 2
John R. Large, M1.S., Asso. Plant Path.

Frost Forecasting-Lakeland
Warren O. John-on. B.S.. Meteorologist in
Chg. -

SHead of Department
SIn cooperation with U. S.
C Cooperative, other divisions, U. of F.
SOn leave


GRAZING TRIALS ..------................ ---

Effect of Clover on Beef Production -....

Irrigation of Clover .................................

V ARIETIES ....................................... .-..--

W hite ... .. .... ...-- .. .. ... -

H ubam ........ ..-.. ---- ... ..--

Floranna .... ...... .. -- ---..-.

R ed ............ ...-- ...--. ..

Miscellaneous Legumes ........... ..

Clover-Grass Combinations .............

CULTURE .. ....-- --. .

Land Selection ..................... ..-..........-

Land Preparation ................. .............

Lim e ........ .... ....- --- --------

Fertilizer ...... ...... ......------ -

Seed Inoculation ....................

Seeding Rates ... ...-........... -.. -..

Planting D ates .............................. .

Planting Methods ..-.... ...-.....................--


SUMMARY .....- --.......-----.... .

LITERATURE CITED .... .......... ...... --.....


....--................................---... 5

.. .... .. ......... .....-- .......-- 5

....... ....... ......---- .......-- -- 7

.............-...............-....-...-- 9

---------------- ----- ----- 9

....... .. ............. ..... ... 10
--- 10

.......................- .....- 11
-- ..-- --- -- -.---------I--. -- .- 11 i

--------- --- -- -- -- .--- -- -- 1 2

................................. ....... 12


- .............................----........... -- 12

............................ ... ...... 12

.....- -..-.-.-. ...... .. -...--. 15

....- --- ..-...-.....- ..- -.. ....... 17

.. ---... ......- .. -.-.-- ..... 18
.....- .- ..- ....- ....- ...- ...... -..... 1 8

------- -- ---- -- -- - 1 9

.... --...--..-.- ....-- ... .- ....- 19

.....- .- ....- .....- .. .. .....- .....-. 2 0

......--.- -.... ..... -.-....-... -.. 22

......- ..----- --- ........ ....-- .... --- -- 23

Winter Clovers in Central Florida


Forage crops that endure frost and grow during cool winter
weather can fill a valuable place in the pasture needs of central
Florida. Certain clover varieties meet these requirements.
These clovers furnish a small but important part of the total
winter forage. Clover herbage may have a protein content of
20 percent or more on a dry basis, thus supplying much-needed
feeding quality at a critical period of the year. Some of the ni-
trogen fixed by the clover remains in the soil to benefit the asso-
ciated grasses for three to five months after the legume crop
has completed growth, thus influencing pasture over a long sea-
son. These factors, which result in high nutritive quality and
increased acre production (Table 1), are important to produc-
ers of both beef and dairy cattle.
It was demonstrated in the late 1930's that-with adequate
soil treatment-adapted strains of clover could be grown through-
out most of Florida (1)1. Small areas of winter clover were es-
tablished successfully in many counties, but most of the early
plantings died out after a year or two for lack of refertilization
or because of overgrazing and dry weather.

Effect of Clover on Beef Production.-Several clover varieties
planted in experimental plots at the Range Cattle Station in No-
vember 1941 made excellent growth in the first season but failed
in succeeding years because of drouth, although soil treatment
and seeding were adequate.
Carpet grass and mixed winter clovers were planted at the
Range Cattle Station on two pasture of five acres each in 1942.
Carpet grass was planted with a cultipacker at 10 pounds per acre
over the entire area in spring and summer. The clover was seed-
ed in November on top of the sod at the rate of three pounds Lou-
isiana White, five pounds Black Medic and seven pounds Hubam
per acre. These three varieties were planted each fall through
1945, after which no reseeding was done.
The soil was typical flatwoods, Immokalee fine sand, having
a shallow dark surface layer and an organic hardpan at the 30-

Italic figures in parentheses refer to Literature Cited.

Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

to 36-inch depth. The pH of the native land ranged from 4.0 to
4.5; two tons per acre of calcic lime were required to raise the pH
above 6.0. Annual fertilization in October for nine years consisted
of 50 to 70 pounds per acre P205 and 50 pounds of K20 applied as
500 pounds of 0-10-10 or 0-14-10. Carpet grass planted on ad-
joining fields in 1942 received 400 pounds per acre of 3-16-8 fer-
tilizer and one ton of finely ground calcic lime at planting time.
The Carpet grass pasture was top-dressed with nitrate of soda
in 1943 and 1944, at 100 and 125 pounds per acre, respectively,
followed by 500 pounds of 6-6-6 fertilizer per acre each spring
thereafter. Secondary elements were added to the Carpet grass
pasture in 1942, while their application to the clover-Carpet com-
bination was delayed until 1944.
Grazing animals used to measure the productivity of these pas-
tures were yearling and two-year-old steers and heifers, mostly
of grade Braham breeding (Figs. 1 and 2). Enough cattle to use
the available forage were put on these pastures as soon as growth
permitted and were not removed until they stopped gaining
weight, or until time for renewed clover growth in the fall. The

Fig. 2.-Cattle similar to those shown in Fig. 1 on limed and fertilized
Carpet grass grew well but failed to fatten. Photographed Sept. 13.

Winter Clocers in Central Florida

clover-Carpet pasture supported from 1 to 21/2 cattle per acre
from January through September while Carpet grass carried
about two head on three acres from March to August. The graz-
ing season was similar on the two types of pasture during the
years that were unfavorable for clover.
Beef gains per acre on Carpet grass and Carpet-Louisiana
White clover pastures for a five-year period are given in Press
Bulletin 654 of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station (3).
These figures, with additional years of record, appear in Table 1.

Pasture Type Gain, Pounds per Acre
1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 Ave.

Carpet Grass 58 102 92 67 77 48 48 66 69 70
White Clover-
Carpet Grass _. 46 59 143 246 600 712 108 82 230 247

Lack of lime and minor elements and inoculation failure limited
clover production in 1943 and 1944 to scattered plants. The mod-
erate gain increases of 1945 and 1946 were due to growth of Hu-
bam with a scattering of Black Medic and Louisiana White.
White clover became predominant in 1947 and 1948, and plenti-
ful winter and spring rains favored excellent forage growth with
resulting high beef production. Heavy stands of clover devel-
oped in the fall of both 1948 and 1949, but subsequent dry weather
reduced clover growth and beef gains fell to levels only slightly
above that of the Carpet grass pasture.
Beef gains on the clover-grass combination exceeded those on
the grass pasture by a ratio of 3 to 1 during 1951, although clover
growth was reduced somewhat by drouth. These yields illus-
trate the complete dependence of clover production on favorable
moisture conditions.
The average yields for nine years were 70 and 247 pounds of
beef per acre, respectively, for fertilized Carpet grass and clover-
grass combination pasture. These figures, although much lower
than those obtained at Gainesville (2), clearly show the effect
of clover on pasture productivity.
Irrigation of Clover.-Small scale portable sprinkler irrigation
has been used at the Range Cattle Station for three years on a
white clover-mixed grass pasture. Beef gains for irrigated and
non-irrigated areas are showed in Table 2.

Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


Pasture Type Gains, Pounds per Acre
1950 1951 1952 Average
Non-irrigated ......... 82 230 571 294
Irrigated ...... .... 492 1,050 889 810

The year 1950 was very dry from January to May, with drouth
beginning in December 1949 (Table 3), and no clover grew in the
non-irrigated pasture while good clover production was obtained
under irrigation. There was more rain during the same period
of 1951 but clover growth was reduced by lack of moisture and
irrigation was very beneficial. Conditions during 1952 were
generally favorable for clover but the use of irrigation increased
growth during short dry periods, resulting in a substantially
higher total yield.
Pastures ranging from small to large acreages are being irri-
gated on a commercial basis by pumping water into shallow
ditches. Laterals located on the land contour and spaced 50 to
100 feet apart carry enough water to maintain a level where
moisture can reach the root zone. Water table irrigation re-
quires soil that does not allow excessive downward movement.
This type of irrigation requires less labor and equipment than
the portable pipe systems but must have a larger water supply.
Some provision for removal of excess surface water during heavy
rainfall periods may be essential where natural drainage is poor.


Year 1949-50 1950-51 1951-52

inches inches inches
Rainfall ......-................. 4.91 17.82 16.04
Irrigation Water ........... 16.5 14.0 10.0

A sprinkler system supplying one inch of water every two
weeks will provide adequate moisture for clover during cool
weather. Water needs increase with warm, dry weather and
rapid growth; at such times, 1 to 11/) inches per week are neces-
sary in the form of either rainfall or irrigation. It is vital that

Winter Clovers in Central Florida

irrigation water be applied before the soil becomes dry if best
results are to be obtained.
Pasture irrigation can provide highly nutritious grazing over
a longer part of the year without danger of failure as a result of
drouth. It permits growth of legume crops that have frost re-
sistance and can add greatly to pasture growth and quality. No
mention of pasture irrigation is complete without emphasizing
the fact that its benefits depend on highly efficient pasture and
herd management. Clover irrigation cannot be fully evaluated
on the basis of present information, but it promises to yield sub-
stantial returns for the effort and money expended where water
is plentiful and the pasture is managed intensively.

White.-Louisiana White, a Southern type of white clover (Fig.
3), gives the most productive clover pastures in peninsular Flor-
ida. Special effort should be made to obtain seed of Southern ori-
gin, since Northern or foreign strains are likely to produce dis-
appointing results. Louisiana White clover reseeds plentifully
under proper management; it may live from year to year if moist-
ure and fertility conditions are favorable.

Fig. 3.-Louisiana white clover properly stocked will bloom while being
grazed. These two-year-old steers grazed the clover-grass pasture from
January 30, 1952, to May 6, 1952, making an. average daily gain per animal
of 2.95 pounds.

Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

Ladino, another white clover variety, has been planted in small
areas with excellent results. It grows vigorously and recovers
rapidly from grazing, but its summer survival is uncertain. La-
dino produces little seed in Florida and annual reseeding may be
Hubam.-This white-flowered annual sweet clover has been
planted with success in both mixture and pure stand. Hubam
sweet clover (Fig. 4) is erect in growth and produces good quality
forage, although somewhat unpalatable to cattle until they be-
come accustomed to it. Grazing should begin just before or at
the early bloom stage for best results.
Hubam is less tolerant of wet soil than white clover and slightly
more susceptible to frost damage. It withstands short periods
of drouth better than other clover varieties, but requires moist-
ure for satisfactory growth. Seed production by Hubam is plenti-
ful under moderate grazing. This seed is sound but much of
it has a hard natural coating and time of germination is uncer-
tain. Growth of Hubam seedlings during December and January
is more rapid than that of Louisiana White.
Heavily grazed Hubam usually grows during the spring months
until killed by drouth or excess soil moisture. It should be grazed
heavily enough to keep seed production to a minimum since, being

Fig. 4.-Cattle readily learn to eat Hubam sweet clover. This pasture had
been grazed rotationally for 10 weeks when photographed April 4, 1952.

Winter Clorers in Central Florida

an annual, it will die when a seed crop has been produced. The
biennial varieties of sweet clover are not suitable for use in
Floranna.-This annual sweet clover was selected by the Flor-
ida Agricultural Experiment Station, Gainesville, and has pro-
duced superior yields under unfavorable weather conditions in
north Florida (6).
Red.-Red clover improvement programs of recent years have
produced several new varieties, best known of which is Kenland
from the Kentucky Experiment Station. Kenland has grown
well in various Florida plantings and may have some value for
grazing and hay, although it is easily damaged by excess water.
Natural reseeding is much less reliable than for Louisiana White,
but occurs to a moderate degree when the crop is allowed to
bloom and mature. It has been shown that insects play an impor-
tant part in seed production of our common forage legumes (5).
Miscellaneous Legumes.-Hairy Peruvian alfalfa has made ex-
cellent winter growth on well-drained areas with adequate moist-
ure. The lime, fertilizer and minor element requirements of al-
falfa are similar to those of White clover, with potash needs being
very high. Disease attacks, together with susceptibility to in-
jury by extremes of wet and dry weather, make alfalfa an uncer-
tain legume for general use in Florida.
Alsike clover, a low-growing variety, develops well under favor-
able conditions. Since it does not reseed like white, which it
closely resembles, and does not produce the rooted stolons that
make white clover a vigorous competitor, Alsike has no place in
Florida pastures. Black Medic is a low-growing, yellow-flowered
legume, closely related to alfalfa. It grows rapidly from seed and
is highly palatable. Medic has been used for mixed planting,
but irregular seed supplies and rapid maturity limit its value.
Reseeding Crimson clover is easily damaged by excess surface
water and suffers from disease. There are several well-known
varieties-Dixie, Auburn and others-all of which mature early
in the spring and have little value in central Florida. Sub (Sub-
terranean) clover is a low-growing variety having small seed
heads that turn downward and bury themselves in the soil or
surface litter. It grows well under favorable conditions but has
little local value. Big Trefoil may have some usefulness, localized
on moist, sandy areas (8). The lime requirement of trefoil is
lower than for the other legumes discussed.

Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

Clover-Grass Combinations.-Most winter clover in Florida has
been planted in sods of Carpet and other low-growing grasses
(4). This combination may be used to provide excellent grazing
over eight to nine months of the year. The long-term behavior
of clover in combination with Pangola, Pensacola Bahia and the
Tifton Bermudas is uncertain. Clover can be established in these
and other varieties if suitable cultural operations are followed.
There is evidence that the intensive grazing necessary for clover
utilization may permit Carpet grass and "water grass" to invade
the clover-grass mixture.

Land Selection.-Moist soil that is not likely to be flooded and
that has a deep, black surface layer is well suited for winter clo-
ver production. Land that dries out quickly should be avoided;
since clover is a heavy user of water and drouth is a constant
threat. Only exceptional land provides enough moisture to pro-
duce white clover during a dry season. Hubam will produce ex-
cellent mid-winter grazing on soils that have moderate water-
holding capacity, or in locations that permit deep rooting of the
clover plants.
Land Preparation.-Clover has been seeded successfully un-
der different conditions of cultivation, ranging from undisturbed
sod to complete destruction of existing vegetation. Clean-culti-
vated land may be seeded to clover if time is allowed for soil set-
tling before planting. Freshly worked soil dries out quickly and
must be very thorough packed if clover is to be established
immediately. Ordinarily, a productive grass is planted prior to
the legume, although Carpet and Common Bermuda usually vol-
unteer following vigorous clover growth.
Clover cannot be satisfactorily established on a sod that is
covered with a rough growth of herbage or in a very dense sod--
clover seed must come in contact with the soil for satisfactory
germination and nodulation. Close grazing during spring and
summer is the best way to prepare a pasture for clover establish-
ment. If the grass is allowed to become too coarse and unpalatable
for grazing it must be removed by other means. Excess grass
may be raked and hauled as hay or it may be burned if no clover
plants are present. Frost often comes too late in central Florida
to be followed by burning of accumulated growth in preparation
for clover.

Winter Clovers in Central Florida

A tight sod should be cut with a light-weight disk or chopper
two to four weeks before planting time. Go over the land twice
if a single cutting does not scarify enough to permit seed con-
tact with the soil. Heavy machines are of limited value for this
operation, since they cut too deeply.
An established clover pasture requires special preparation for
reseeding or renewal of growth. Grass grows with increased
vigor following clover establishment (Fig. 5) and heavy summer
and fall grazing is necessary to fully utilize the forage produced.
This type of management produces a compact, closely grazed sod
that is ideal for renewed clover growth (Fig. 6). Scattered tufts
and sparse growth not more than six inches in height will not in-
jure white clover plants that live through the summer nor affect
either volunteer seedlings or reseeding procedures.
Excess grass on an old clover pasture in the fall must be
handled in the same way as described for a new planting if clover
is to be continued on the area. Prevention of this accumulation
by proper grazing gives evidence of efficient pasture management

Fig. 5.-Grass growth is stimulated long after the clover has completed
its cycle. This Pangola pasture, photographed October 1, must be heavily
grazed to prepare for regrowth of the clover.

Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

and provides the best possible conditions for the next clover crop.
Lime.-Clover thrives on soils with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5, which-
in most sandy soils of central Florida-occurs with an available
calcium content of 1,200 to 1,800 pounds per acre. Original pH
levels are variable, but 4.0 to 4.5 is common. Two to 21/2 tons
of ground limestone per acre are required to prepare for clover,
starting at a pH of 4.0 to 5.0. Soil testing 5.0 to 5.9 should re-
ceive one ton per acre of liming material. Reliming will be neces-
sary every two to four years and should be done whenever the
pH falls below 6.0. It is recommended that lime be applied at
not less than one ton per acre.
Ground limestone should be applied two to four months ahead
of the fall planting date for best results, although treatment de-
layed until seeding time usually is satisfactory. It is not neces-
sary to mix liming materials into the soil.
Either calcic or dolomitic limestone or equivalent amounts of
other conditioning materials may be used. If the available mag-

Fig. 6.-Cattle leave bunches of grass in a clover field that is not over-
grazed. This pasture is ready for refertilization and removal of cattle.

Winter Clovers in Central Florida

nesium level is blow 40 to 50 pounds per acre, some dolomitic
lime should be applied.
Fertilizer.-A new clover planting should receive 500 pounds
per acre of an 0-12-12 or similar mixture during the week before
or immediately after seeding. Delay in fertilization handicaps
the young plants. When a delay occurs, the fertilizer should be
applied at the earliest possible date, regardless of burning injury
to seedling plants. Application of fertilizer when the plants are
dry will keep this at a minimum. Uniformity of distribution of
lime and fertilizer is important, whether drop-type or fan-type
spreaders are used (Figs. 7 and 8).

Fig. 7.-Drop-type spreader.

A white clover pasture that is well established and has made
heavy growth exhausts the available potash quickly. It should
be fertilized during February with 250 pounds per acre of an
0-8-24 mixture or 100 pounds of 60-percent muriate of potash.
This should be done when the leaves are dry and preferably when
the field is grazed closely. A similar treatment in April or May
will benefit white clover that has adequate moisture and is mak-
ing vigorous growth. The additional winter and spring fer-
tilization should be applied only on heavy-producing clover. It
is most important on irrigated pasture. Heavy rains during the
clover-producing season increase the need for additional potash

Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

Supplemental fertilization is less important for Hubam than
for white clover. It is a shorter season crop and usually does
not produce as much total grazing. If Hubam is grazed heavily
and moisture conditions favor further growth, 250 pounds of
an 0-8-24 fertilizer or 100 pounds per acre of muriate of potash
may be helpful when applied in February or early March.

Fig. 8.-Fan-type spreader.
Old clover pastures should be fertilized in October or early No-
vember when the pasture is closely grazed or mowed and cooler
weather favors growth of seedling and "live-over" plants. Treat-
ment for such areas should follow the plan suggested for a new
planting, keeping in mind that potash becomes deficient very
quickly in a rapidly growing clover field. Fall application of 400
pounds per acre of 0-14-14 fertilizer is adequate for established
clover pasture if additional potash or 0-8-24 is provided as needed
later in the season.
Clover response to minor elements is variable; there are places
where no benefit is seen from their application. No chance should
be taken with deficiencies, however; so minor elements are rec-
ommended for new plantings except in localities where clover is
being grown successfully without them. Suggested rates in
pounds per acre are as follows: Copper sulfate 20, manganese
sufate 20, zinc sulfate 10, borax 10. The following fertilizer tag
percentages are required in order that a 500-pound per acre ap-
plication of fertilizer will supply the per acre amounts suggested
above: 1.30% CuO, 1.30% MnO, 0.60% ZnO, 0.70% B20s.

Winter Clovers in Central Florida

Minor elements should be reapplied after four to five years. It
may be desirable to add them to the fertilizer in reduced amounts
after the second year to furnish a more constant supply. Exces-
sive treatment with minor elements is an expense that benefits
neither plant nor animal and wastes valuable materials.
Since sulfur is present in ordinary superphosphate, it is not
usually deficient on clover pastures when this material is used.
Use of sulfur-free materials such as triple-superphosphate or
ground rock phosphate on clover will require the addition of sul-
fur in some form in central Florida (7).
Seed Inoculation.-Legume bacteria suited to the clovers and
similar legumes are not ordinarily found in Florida soils; the crop
will fail unless these organisms are supplied. The importance of
the bacteria lies in their ability to take nitrogen from the air
and use it for their own growth. Nodules are formed on the
small roots of the clover when the bacteria are present. After
the nodules develop, the nitrogen taken up by the bacteria becomes
available to the legume plants and to grass growing with or fol-
lowing them.
A new clover planting must be supplied with bacteria by treat-
ing the seed with commercial cultures suited to Southern condi-
tions or by scattering surface soil from a field where clover is
growing. Special care is required to provide the right variety of
inoculant, since different legumes need different bacteria. White,
red, crimson, and other Trifolium clovers require one kind of in-
oculant, while sweet clover, alfalfa and medic need another. Va-
rieties requiring different bacteria should be inoculated sepa-
rately if they are to be mixed for planting.
Moisten clover seed before applying dry inoculating cultures,
in order to stick the bacteria to the seed. A mixture of 3 parts
water and 1 part molasses, syrup or sugar sprayed or poured on
at 1 to 11/2 quarts per 100 pounds of seed will give good results.
Stir the seed well while they are being moistened. Sift the com-
mercial inoculant over the damp seed at five times the rate sug-
gested on the container, followed by stirring to mix seed and in-
oculant thoroughly (Fig. 9).
Treated seed dries rapidly while being mixed but may be too
damp to pass through a seeder. It can be dried by adding a little
cottonseed meal or ordinary mash feed. Inoculation may be
done by piling seed on a clean concrete floor and shoveling to
mix it with the inoculating material. Stirring in a tub or other
smooth container is a convenient way to treat small quantities

Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

of seed. Inoculating cultures that must be dissolved in water
should be applied to dry seed.
Surface soil taken from an established clover field may be
put through ordinary window screen and used to supplement
commercial inoculant. Five to 10 pounds of soil per 100 pounds
of seed is enough for this purpose. Instead of mixing with the
seed, this type of soil may be scattered over the moist ground
at 200 pounds per acre at seeding time.

gr.. "' 1-

Fig. 9.-Careful inoculation is a vital step in successful clover culture.
Sifting inoculant over thoroughly dampened seed is an excellent method.

Clover seed should be planted the same day it is inoculated and
requires retreatment if delays occur. Inoculation failure is very
common in clover planting and usually is caused by exposure of
the bacteria to sunlight or by drying either before or after seed-
ing. Periods of cloudy or rainy weather are helpful in nodulat-
ing new clover plantings.
Seeding Rates.-Louisiana White should be seeded at five to
eight pounds per acre if not mixed with other varieties. A com-
bination of five pounds of Louisiana White and 5 to 10 pounds
of either Hubam or Kenland Red may be used where a mixture

Winter Clovers in Central Florida

is desired. Solid planting of Kenland should be limited to small
areas and made at 15 to 20 pounds of seed per acre.
Hubam on a new planting should be seeded at 15 to 20 pounds
per acre. This variety produces an abundant crop of seed when
allowed to bloom but much of it is "hard seed" and does not
germinate in the fall when new growth is desired. Consequent-
ly, an old field of Hubam should be reseeded at 10 pounds per
acre with the same land preparation given a new planting.
Planting Dates.-Clover should be planted during October and
November, with the October date giving earlier grazing if growth
conditions are suitable. Later plantings may be made, but dan-
ger of drouth increases and the mid-winter grazing period is
Planting Methods.-Clover seed may be scattered either by a
seeder attachment on a packer (Fig. 10) or by a cyclone-type
seeder (Fig. 11). Very shallow coverage and packing with rol-

Fig. 10.-The packer-seeder combination is the most reliable planting
method for clover, especially where the soil surface is not compact.

r l .

Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

ler, harrow or drag is important, unless seeding is done on firm
land or is followed immediately by rain. This need for cover-
ing and packing is the principal hazard in airplane planting of
clover on large acreages. Exposing the seed to drying is respon-
sible for many of the frequent inoculation failures.

Fig. 11.-A cyclone seeder mounted on a truck or jeep permits rapid

A clover pasture must be securely fenced and managed inten-
sively if its full value is to be obtained. Graze sodded land close-
ly until planting time and for a short time-not more than one
week-after seeding. Then remove all animals and keep them out
until the clover is ready to graze. A few calves or cows left on a
clover pasture can reduce the yield many times more than the
value of the feed the cattle obtain.
Louisana White produces blossoms when it is about six inches
high and Hubam at 18 to 24 inches. Flower production begins
21/2 to 3 months after germination under favorable growth condi-
tions and is a reliable signal to begin grazing. One animal per
acre is a recommended stocking rate for young clover, unless it
is to be grazed off quickly and then allowed to grow for two to
four weeks. The carrying capacity of white clover may increase
to three head per acre during March, April and May.

Winter Clovers in Central Florida

Hubam can support two to three head per acre during its period
of maximum production. These rates may be increased if supple-
mental feed is supplied (Fig. 12) or if native or improved grass
pastures are used in rotation with the clover. There is a moder-
ate reduction in carrying capacity as the clover is replaced by
grass during spring and summer.

Fig. 12.-This steer grazed irrigated clover-grass pasture from January
17 to May 30, receiving 10 pounds of citrus pulp daily for the final 30 days.
He gained an average of three pounds daily during the 133-day period.

The highest feed production on white clover is obtained when
the number of animals is regulated to allow some seed production
while the cattle are on the pasture. In case close grazing prevents
seed production, white clover must be protected during April or
May to allow reseeding. Hubam should not be grazed shorter
than 18 inches; allow some leaves to remain if the plants are ex-
pected to make more growth. Overstocking a clover pasture at
any time reduces its productivity.
Graze pastures rotationally. Four divisions per pasture, each
grazed for a week, provide time for regrowth and allow efficient
utilization of the feed produced.

Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

Winter clovers have frost resistance and high feed quality,
making them valuable in the pastures of central Florida. Louisi-
ana White clover is recommended for low, moist land and for irri-
gated areas. It tolerates some excess moisture and may live from
year to year with favorable soil moisture and fertility and good
management. Hubam is a short-season annual sweet clover that
does best on fertile, well-drained land that is not too dry. Other
varieties have value under special conditions.
Irrigation can effectively maintain the productivity of clover
pastures during dry seasons. The value of irrigation is deter-
mined by economy of feed production and efficiency of its utiliza-
The seedbed for new planting or fall renewal of clover growth
must be free of tall grass. Cut dense sod with a light-weight
disk or chopper before planting, since clover seed must con-
tact the soil for proper germination and nodulation.
Liming at 2 to 21/4 tons per acre is required for clover pro-
duction on land of pH 5.0 or less. Finely ground calcic and
dolomitic lime are both satisfactory and should be applied two
to four months before planting. Retreatment at one ton per
acre is needed when the pH drops below 6.0.
Treatment at time of planting with 500 pounds per acre of
0-12-12 fertilizer containing minor elements is essential on new
clover areas. Any delay in fertilization endangers the crop. Es-
tablished clover should be fertilized with 400 pounds per acre
of 0-14-14 in the fall when conditions are favorable for renewed
growth. When growth conditions make it necessary, white
clover should receive 250 pounds of 0-8-24 or 100 pounds of muri-
ate of potash in February and in April.
All clover seed requires inoculation-5 times the standard
amount of the proper type commercial culture being recom-
mended. Treated seed should be planted immediately; reinocu-
lation is necessary if seed is left unplanted over-night.
Seed should be covered with a roller or drag unless planting
is done in rain or on a very firm, moist field.
Animals should be kept off young white clover until blossoms
are plentiful. Hubam responds best to grazing just before or
at the very early bloom stage. Rotational grazing with enough
cattle to permit some seed production is the most efficient meth-
od of using clover pasture.

Winter Clocers in Central Florida


1. BLASER, R. E. Pasture clover studies. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 325.

Carpet grass and legume pastures in Florida. Fla. Ag'r. Exp. Sta.
Bul. 453. 1948.

3. HODGES, E. MA., D. W. JONES and W. G. KIRK. Winter clovers for South
Florida flatwoods. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Press Bul. 654. 1948.

4. HODGES, E. IM., D. W. JONES and W. G. KIRK. Grass pastuies in Central
Florida. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 484. 1951.

5. KILLINGER, G. B., and JOHN D. HAYNIE. Honeybees and other factors
in Florida's legume program. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 497. 1952.

6. KILLINGER, G. B., and G. E. RITCHEY. Floranna sweet clover and its
culture. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Cir. S-46. 1952.

LUNDY. Fertilizer should contain a source of sulfur for clover
pasture in many areas of Florida. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Cir. S-35.

8. WALLACE, ALVIN T., and G. B. KILLINGER. Big trefoil--a new pasture
legume for Florida. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Cir. S-49. 1952.


The Photograph used in Figure 4 is courtesy Cody Publications, Kissim-
mee, Florida.

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