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Establishment and early growth after rice of subterranean clover , Persian clover , balansa clover , and white clover


Establishment and early growth after rice of subterranean clover , Persian clover , balansa clover , and white clover



Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 34(4): 459-467



Four temperate clovers were grown on a typical rice-growing soil in the Murrumbidgee Valley, New South Wales, to assess their establishment and early growth potential. Subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum var. yanninicum) cv. Trikkala, Persian clover (T. resupinatum) cv. Maral, balansa clover (T. michelianum var. balansae) cv. Paradana, and white clover (T. repens) cv. Haifa were sown immediately following a rice crop in autumn of 3 consecutive years. Seven sowing methods were compared, including combinations of surface or drill sowing with land preparation techniques commonly used in rice-farming systems. All cultivars established successfully. Trikkala had the best establishment on the basis of per cent seed sown in year 2, and equal best in years 1 and 3. although Paradana and Maral had higher plant densities at the sowing rates used. Paradana and Maral produced the highest dry matter yields and Haifa the lowest (P lt 0.05) in the growing period to mid-spring. Sowing method strongly influenced (P lt 0.05) both establishment and yield of clover. Sowing into a dense rice canopy before harvest severely restricted clover performance, while harvesting rice before sowing greatly improved (P lt 0.05) clover establishment and dry matter production. Establishment from surface sowing was generally more successful than from drill sowing, although yields with both methods were mostly satisfactory. Establishment and yields were highest after burning stubble, but this effect was variable and not always significant. Sowing after cultivation was not successful, especially in the 2 wetter years, due to poor seedbed preparation and waterlogging.

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