One of the things that we like to investigate at our Richland, Iowa research farm is how our products perform. Being the leader in clovers and having the #1 selling Perennial Ryegrass in the area, Albion, we decided to see what kind of feed we could get from a two-way pasture mix.
Every late winter and early spring I get numerous phone calls with one recurring topic. Can I over seed my pastures or hayfield with clovers during the winter and early spring months?
It is well known that overseeding can result in an increase in both quantity and quality of forage produced. So, does overseeding pay? Research across the country strongly suggests it does. These grazing studies from across the United States have shown an increase in animal performance when they have been grazed on pastures with ryegrass with clover added to it.
When it comes to trying something new on the farm it’s not uncommon for hay producers to stick with what has worked for them in the past. That can be understandable given the demand from the hay buyers to be consistent for quality hay, especially to the dairy producers. A new option for better hay is cold-tolerant Frosty berseem clover. Frosty has been shown to increase yields up to 20%, increase protein by 12%, RFV by 11% and profits by up to 25%.
Now is a perfect time to think about dormant seeding your pastures with a legume. Dormant seeding, or frost seeding, is accomplished by broadcasting seed across the frozen ground. The natural heaving of the soils in the winter works the seed into the soil. When temperatures warm up the seed will germinate and begin growing. In the past, the most prominent legume specie used in frost seeding was red clover. Grassland Oregon has introduced Frosty Berseem Clover, Fixation Balansa Clover, KY Pride Crimson Clover and AberLasting hybrid white clover that can also be sown in this manner.
My name is Jeremy Sweeten and I am a hay/beef farmer in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan, about 20 minutes southwest of Sault Saint Marie, MI. I can see Canada when I look to the north of our farm. We raise about 500 acres of timothy hay, custom raise 100 red and black angus beef stockers, and custom raise 50-70 cow calf pairs on 225 acres of pasture. We are also starting a grass fed herd with five bred heifers this year. My real job is working for The CISCO Companies, Indianapolis, IN, as the northern forage agronomist.