Marzo 2014

March 2014

Three Spring Reminders

Yes, we did say the word “Spring!” We do expect it to arrive, sometime very soon. When it does, here are three very unrelated things to remember:

  1. Hugo Gross of Ag Canada warns that grazing spring forage pastures even one day too early results in about three days less grazing in the fall. Grazing during early spring prior to pasture readiness deprives grass plants of needed leaf area. Waiting is better. See more at TheBeefSite.com.
  2. Seed germination is directly affected by soil temperature. This year, many soils will be colder longer. Expect slower germination times, especially if air temperatures stay cooler than normal. Cover-croppers will have good data to see how their living and residual crops affect soil temperature and if they help speed up spring plantings.
  3. Many weeds and weedy grasses seem to be immune to cold temperatures. Some of these, like poa Annua are already awake and working on the next generation, regardless of the fact that the weather has be non-conducive to applying pre-emergence. It might be a weedy spring.

Arrowleaf Clover - Trifolium vesiculosum Savi

It’s worth the wait!

Arrowleaf is a favorite amongst Southerners who want late spring forage. Sown in the fall with other legumes such as crimson and/or ryegrass, rye, or oats, Arrowleaf delivers abundant tonnage late in the spring filling the last forage gap before the warm season grasses kick in gear. Properly described by its name, arrowleaf has big, 3-inch long arrowhead-shaped leaves with pronounced veins, and distinguishing white markings. With upright growth of up to 48 inches, arrowleaf can be grazed or cut for hay, producing 1.5-2 tons of dry matter/acre in one growing season. It’s drought hardy too! Aside from horses, livestock and wildlife willingly forage on arrowleaf, without worry of bloat.

Arrowleaf does have its limitations. It doesn’t like wet or acid soils, nor shade. The shade factor comes into play if it gets too tall. Lower leaves begin to die and also become susceptible to disease. Best to graze at 6 inches, let regrow, and either graze again or take for hay. Arrowleaf requires a specific type of rhizobium bacteria and should always be inoculated. We recommend Nitro-Coating® it as well. A detailed brochure on arrowleaf is available from the Oregon Clover Commission at OregonClover.org.

Over the next number of months, we intend on highlighting select clover species, as well as adding information about specific clovers to our SmithSeed.com website.

Why Coat Arrowleaf Clover?

As far back as 1972, Auburn University researchers understood that coating Arrowleaf clover resulted in higher forage yields. This data was first published in the Agronomy Journal #64.

In one treatment the seed received inoculum and a coating to seal in the inoculum. On the second treatment the inoculum was put on the seed, without a coating. The results are shown in the table.

Be sure your legumes have the best opportunity to grow, nodulate, fix nitrogen, and produce protein - coat and inoculate them with Nitro-Coat®. Also available in OMRI® approved Organic.

Auburn University

Coated vs. Uncoated Arrowleaf (Yield DM/A)

Multiple Locations



Seed TreatmentTallasseePratville
Coated Seed870 lbs1,520 lbs
Uncoated Seed290 lbs500 lbs
Increase due to coating580 lbs1,020 lbs

Word Scramble

What species of grass can tolerate mowing heights of 1/20” and is found all over the planet. This same species was found to be the most frequent seed species collected (and spread!) from animal mud tracks according a study in 1956 by someone named Clifford!

Descramble for answer: aunonapa