Forage field day looks at clovers, grasses

Montgomery Alison, Schultz, Bruce, Bardwell, Ronald D., Twidwell, Edward K.  |  5/13/2008 1:04:28 AM

The Southeast Research Station gave cattle producers a chance to see the latest products, including this bale wrapper that covers round bales with plastic sheeting. (Photo by Bruce Schultz. Click on photo for downloadable image.)

Cattle producers get a look at pasture research being done at the Darrel Hoover farm near Montpelier. The work includes growing different clover varieties and testing different fertilizer combinations. (Photo by Bruce Schultz. Click on photo for downloadable image.)

Dr. Kun-Jun Han, LSU AgCenter forage agronomist, second from the right, tells cattle producers about his study of clover overseeded in Bahia grass at the AgCenter’s Southeast Research Station near Franklinton. (Photo by Bruch Schultz. Click on photo to download image.)

News Release Distributed 05/13/08

FRANKLINTON – Don’t expect immediate nitrogen benefits from planting clover, LSU AgCenter experts told livestock producers at the Southeast Research Station’s forage field day held Thursday (May 8).

Dr. Wink Alison, LSU AgCenter agronomist, said most of the nitrogen in clover will be in the plant and it doesn’t get into the soil until the plant dies and deteriorates. Harvesting hay from a field of clover will remove most of the nitrogen, he said.

Field day participants got a first-hand look at different types of clover at the Darrell Hoover farm west of Montpelier before going to the Southeast Research Station near Franklinton.

Alison said cattle can digest clovers efficiently.

Dr. Ed Twidwell, LSU AgCenter forage specialist, said producers will have to experiment to find out which kind of clover grows best on their farms. He said clover can be planted at a depth of one-half inch.

Alison said some farmers might be mistakenly inclined to mix two different types of clover in the same field. “They are more productive if they are planted by themselves,” he said.

Dr. Ronnie Bardwell, LSU AgCenter area dairy agent, showed producers different research plots that used varying combinations of lime and fertilizer. He said it’s best to spend money on lime rather than fertilizer if a producer’s budget is tight.

A test field of Bahia grass and ryegrass showed that 400 pounds of pelletized lime produced 2,878 pounds of dry matter, compared to 3,070 pounds of dry matter from 350 pounds of 8-24-24 fertilizer and no lime.

At the research station, producers viewed a study of overseeding clover in Bermuda grass and Bahia grass, growing alfalfa in Bahia grass, and growing corn and soybeans in forage to improve silage quality.

Several equipment dealers were on hand to demonstrate implements to harvest, bale and wrap hay.

More than 150 people attended the field day.

Several Mississippi State University faculty members were at the event, and Dr. Pam Hodson, LSU AgCenter director for the Southeast Region, said LSU and Mississippi State have a cooperative agreement to conduct research that will benefit agriculture and reduce research duplication.

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Contacts: Wink Alison at (318) 435-2157 or walison@agcenter.lsu.edu
Ed Twidwell at (225) 578-4564 or etwidwell@agcenter.lsu.edu
Ronnie Bardwell at (985) 839-2322 or rbardwell@agcenter.lsu.edu

Writer: Bruce Schultz at (337) 296-5257 or bschultz@agcenter.lsu.edu

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