White clover is a key competitive advantage in NZ’s pastoral farm sector. And that means the choice of white clover cultivar is important when you’re getting ready to renew pastures this autumn.
We’ve done a series of trials at the Agriseeds research farm over the past three years to find out just how much more clover DM you can get out of new cultivars (Kotare and Weka) compared with older ones such as Huia.
On average, Kotare and Weka have outyielded Huia by 1100 kg DM/ha/year. What is that worth in dollar terms? One simple way to estimate this would be to look at the value of a kg of ryegrass DM in the DairyNZ Forage Value Index (average around $0.32/kg DM), and increase that value by 30%, because clover is delivers 30% more animal performance per kg DM.
Doing that values clover at $0.42/kg DM, so Kotare and Weka’s additional DM production equates to an extra $450/ha each year!
But that’s not all. White clover also has an additive effect of improving ryegrass growth, because of its ability to fix atmospheric N. For Kotare and Weka, with that extra 1100 kg DM/ha production, gives you an extra 30 kgN/ha for free (or 65 kg/ha urea).
So don’t just settle for any clover this autumn. Sow the one that is going to deliver you the highest true value. And don’t forget all Agriseeds clovers come with the new improved AGRICOTE Clover seed treatment, with the addition of extra nutrients essential to get the best establishment.