Red Clover's Deep Roots and History

December 2020

Red Clover Roots

Have you ever dug up a red clover plant and observed its roots? They are nothing short of intimidating! With a deep tap root and aggressive, thick branching roots it is no wonder this perennial legume is drought tolerant, excellent for soil building and stability.

Speaking of roots, red clover is believed to originate in Asia Minor and southeastern Europe. Red clover’s value as an important forage crop spread cultivation through Europe, England and then to North America. As an outward sign of this historical spread, the red clover flower is the national flower of Denmark and the state flower of Vermont!

GA-9908 Medium Red Clover

Over time, various plant breeders have focused on improving forage and seed yield, regional adaptation, disease resistance and persistence. One such breeder, Dr. Joe Bouton, pursued improving southern adaptation, especially under grazing environments, during his time at the University of Georgia. The result of his work is a variety, now available through Smith Seed Services, called GA-9908.

Hot Stuff

What makes this variety so special? As mentioned above, the breeding and selection work for GA-9908 was conducted in the hot, humid Georgia climate. Plants were selected based on multi-year survivability “after exposure to intensive grazing with grass competition.” The result is a multi-year red clover capable of better persistence and good hay yields, even adapted to the hot, humid South.

Wide Adaptation

GA-9908 is not just for the south, though. GA-9908 has been tested as far north as Wisconsin, where it provided forage yields equivalent to other widely used varieties, including Freedom!MR, Starfire II , and Cinnamon Plus.

With resistance to both Northern and Southern Anthracnose, GA-9908 can be safely planted in many regions for use as forage for hay, grazing, cover cropping and wildlife.

Ready to Plant

GA-9908 comes in an attractive branded bag and ready to plant with our NitroCoat® preinoculation. We are so excited about this new variety, we put together a dedicated website - GA9908RedClover.com. Be sure to visit it where you can see trial results, photos, and learn more about why you should carry GA-9908 medium red clover.

Ask your Smith Seed Representative about pricing and availability.

GA-9908 medium red clover in a field