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By Mary HightowerUniversity of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
PIGGOTT, Ark. -- While that first cutting of fescue hay awaits rescue in rain-sodden
meadows, Arkansas’ cool, rainy spring has one bright side: clover.
Andy Vangilder, Clay County extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas System
Division of Agriculture, said that while fescue quality declines, “we do, however,
have a lot of clover this year which is still in pretty good shape. I call this a
clover year where our pastures are filled with clover where there might have only
a little the year before.”
John Jennings, professor of forages for the University of Arkansas System Division
of Agriculture, said that 2015 is a good clover year due primarily to how the winter
ended and spring started.
“In years when pasture grass starts slow or is held back by weather conditions, clover
seems to thrive,” he said. “March was cold and wet so pasture greenup was late and
grasses were slow to break dormancy.
“The lack of grass competition allowed clover to get a head start when temperatures
finally warmed in April,” Jennings said.
The legumes have high digestibility and can help compensate for lower nutrient value
among other forages.
“Livestock will selectively graze the clover in the pasture,” Jennings said. “Their
diet will be good enough to manage cow-calf production.”
As endophyte-infected fescue continues to grow and mature with the cooler temperatures
and rain, clover can improve overall forage quality.
In stocker calf operations, tall endophyte-infected tall fescue can cause losses in
the herd, but having clover available for grazing can help offset some, but not all,
For more information about forage production, visit extension's Web site, www.uaex.uada.edu, or contact your county extension agent.
Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
# # #
Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) email@example.com