AGRICOTE Clover seed treatment is suitable for both white and red clovers, and no longer contains rhizobia.
AGRICOTE Clover helps protect seedling clover against root feeding nematodes, damaging fungi, and provides molybdenum to aid root nodulation and nitrogen fixation.
Rhizobia is no longer included in the AGRICOTE Clover seed treatment.
This is because in 99% of situations rhizobia is no longer required, as resident levels of clover rhizobia in NZ soils are more than adequate to ensure good clover nodulation and establishment. These populations can be as high as 3 million rhizobia in a single teaspoon of soil.
Rhizobia have spread naturally throughout NZ since their introduction. They are freely distributed by the wind, and also move in soil and dust attached to equipment, plant material, seed and stock hooves. They can survive in soils without host clover plants for many years - for example they have been found in paddocks after 33 years continuous cropping with maize. Many rhizobia in the soil on farms are as effective as those used to inoculate coated clover seed.
Use of clover seed inoculated with rhizobia should however still be considered in the following three uncommon situations as an insurance against nodulation failure:
- Undeveloped grasslands with no evidence of resident clover;
- Virgin pastoral land cleared directly from scrub;
- Paddocks cropped with maize continually for over 10 years.
New weight build up
With the removal of rhizobia, AGRICOTE Clover now has a 25% weight build up i.e. 4 kg bare seed becomes 5 kg treated. This is a lower weight build up than some other treatments (e.g. Superstike weight build up = 75%).
This is important when comparing or pricing coatings, as AGRICOTE Clover has a lower sowing rate (3 kg/ha) than some other clover coatings (4 kg/ha)
AGRICOTE Clover contains the essential nutrient molybdenum that is used by both clover and rhizobia. Rhizobia uses molybdenum for the atmospheric fixation of nitrogen and is required for root nodulation.
Lime is incorporated into the seed treatment to help correct the soil pH, and improve root development immediately adjacent to the seed.
AGRICOTE Clover provides protection against clover root nematodes, improving establishment under high nematode numbers.
In a trial run by AgResearch, white clover was sown into soil inoculated with a mix containing root knot nematode (Meloidogyne trifoliophila). A soil assessment showed root knot, pin, lesion, cyst and spiral nematodes all to be present, although not in high numbers. Seedlings were harvested and weighed 4 weeks after sowing.
Both seed coatings used showed significantly better plant size after 4 weeks. AGRICOTE Clover plants were on average 46% larger than those sown with bare seed.
AGRICOTE Clover contains fungicide to give protection against ‘damping off’ through the establishment period, a disease which can kill seedling plants. This is caused mainly by Fusarium, but also Pythium and Rhizoctonia fungi.
Fusarium, Pythium and Rhizoctonia fungi are common in New Zealand soils, and attack
plants at or below ground level, causing the plant tissue to soften and decay. New seedlings are most susceptible to being killed by damping off, as their small size makes them very vulnerable. This in turn can lead to poor, patchy clover establishment.
42 day withholding period applies. Pastures sown with clover should not be grazed within this period.