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Coated Clover Seed for Frost Seeding?

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Stocker Steve

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I am seeing more and more coated seed offered. My sales guy said part of the reason is to reduce seed shortages. I did a coated seed web search and found some conflicting information on coating effects on germination...

Is there any reason to use coated red or white clover seed for frost seeding???
Less seed per pound and seems less likely to get in a/the groove.
 

dun

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If the area already has or has had in past any clover it's a waste of money for frost seeding. By the time it would geminate the coating is gone. If drilling it you have to open the feed up to about a millet size setting to get the volume to feed correctly.
Clover as well as other seed should be bought on the pounds of PLS basis, not just pounds per bag.
 

novatech

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I planted coated seed this year. The coating had no effect on how the seed went through the gears in the clover box. Turns out the weather has been favorable for clover this year and where I thought there was no clover is totally covered with native. Never the less now I have a new variety added to the pasture.
As far as the coating is concerned, the man that sold this seed to me said the coating was to aid in transferring the rhizobia to the ground instead of using inoculate, and that it would stay alive better. Besides that it was all he had.
Since the subject came up I decided to do a little research. I found that some coatings do not do anything and some do.
Here is an article if you are interested.
http://www.springerlink.com/content/n132w29442u01120/
I found a lot of advertisements for coatings but this is the only study I found using the lime.
I also found another study that claimed that the plants per acre, coated vs. non-coated, were about the same when just planting the same number of pounds per acre.
 

SRBeef

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Especially at the cost of seed I would agree with Dun about not wasting the seed on "frost seeding". Any time I have tried it only a small percentage of the seed germinated and even smaller percent survived the first season.

Put it through a drill with a small seed box (as novatech) and get it below the soil surface and closed when the time is right (as early in spring as possible in your area).

This is the sort of clover stand you can get in sod with a drill. It can really help you come midsummer. "Frost seeding" won't look anything like this, usually.



Coating makes the seed larger and easier to singulate but I don't really think it is necessary - depends on the cost. I strongly suggest you mix innoculant in with your seed to get the nitrogen-fixing benefit. Check with your seed dealer

Basically rent, borrow or hire a drill in the spring or you are wasting far more on seed than the coating issue. jmho and experience.
 

dun

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SRBeef":2ixtbheq said:
Especially at the cost of seed I would agree with Dun about not wasting the seed on "frost seeding". Any time I have tried it only a small percentage of the seed germinated and even smaller percent survived the first season.

Put it through a drill with a small seed box (as novatech) and get it below the soil surface and closed when the time is right (as early in spring as possible in your area).

This is the sort of clover stand you can get in sod with a drill. It can really help you come midsummer. "Frost seeding" won't look anything like this, usually.



Coating makes the seed larger and easier to singulate but I don't really think it is necessary - depends on the cost. I strongly suggest you mix innoculant in with your seed to get the nitrogen-fixing benefit. Check with your seed dealer

Basically rent, borrow or hire a drill in the spring or you are wasting far more on seed than the coating issue. jmho and experience.

Under what conditions did you frost seed that it failed? We frost seed almost all of our clover now and only had one year that we didn;t get an improved stand. That was a year when we didn;t get any moisture after the snow melted and everything including the established grasses didn;t grow. The next year we had clover coming out our ears and we hadn;t planted anymore.
 

novatech

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dun":nl2x2x87 said:
Under what conditions did you frost seed that it failed? We frost seed almost all of our clover now and only had one year that we didn;t get an improved stand. That was a year when we didn;t get any moisture after the snow melted and everything including the established grasses didn;t grow. The next year we had clover coming out our ears and we hadn;t planted anymore.
You are right on. A lot of things can effect clover stands. To much cover, grass or dirt, not enough moisture when planting, Drying out after germination, etc. Some years all the conditions are met and we get an abundance of clover(this year) and then some years we barely get any no matter what we do (last year).
I have noticed that the best stands of clover are where the pasture has been grazed very short and that there is very little to none where I have left pastures for stockpiled forage. If I can get those areas grazed down pretty quick I may still get a stand.
 

dun

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novatech":2b9r85ct said:
I have noticed that the best stands of clover are where the pasture has been grazed very short and that there is very little to none where I have left pastures for stockpiled forage. If I can get those areas grazed down pretty quick I may still get a stand.

That is one of the most imortant parts of getting it to work. I think that if the grass isn;t really short a lot of the seed never really gets to the ground in time for the freeze and thaw process to get it covered.
 

novatech

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Even with good ground contact I think the sunlight may have something to do with it. My native clover will not sprout unless the grass is short. On one section that was burnt off in the early fall has the thickest stand. Not very tall yet but covers the ground almost solid except for the winter weeds. The burning could have caused a rebound I guess.
 

dun

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novatech":onuq5n66 said:
Some years all the conditions are met and we get an abundance of clover(this year) and then some years we barely get any no matter what we do (last year).

Everyone around here commented on the amount of clover this year and that it persisted for so long. We hada hay field that I renovated last year, the OG had pretty much died out. Drilled brome and OG. Everything was smothered by the clover. Hadn;t ever even seen a clover plant in the field before. Early fall after we grazed the clover to the gorund forthe third time the OG and brome came up really well and got another grazing off of it.
 

novatech

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dun":1k7vq7hr said:
novatech":1k7vq7hr said:
Some years all the conditions are met and we get an abundance of clover(this year) and then some years we barely get any no matter what we do (last year).

Everyone around here commented on the amount of clover this year and that it persisted for so long. We hada hay field that I renovated last year, the OG had pretty much died out. Drilled brome and OG. Everything was smothered by the clover. Hadn;t ever even seen a clover plant in the field before. Early fall after we grazed the clover to the gorund forthe third time the OG and brome came up really well and got another grazing off of it.
I think in my case sombody new how bad I need to put nitrogen on my pastures but was to tight to do it. :nod:
 

SRBeef

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Problems with frost seeding. I have mostly heavy dubuque clay W WI soils. Maybe that was the problem. I've tried broadcasting clover in early spring so it falls in the cracks you sometimes get in the spring. Problem is we go from snow cover to mud in a heartbeat...

We have an implement dealer in my county who will deliver and pickup a 10 ft no till drill with a small seed/alfalfa box for about $10/acre + $25 delivery. After my bad experience with frost seeding (maybe a 10-20% stand) and the cost of good red clover seed I just use a drill.

If I let cattle in to work the seed into the ground at clover planting time (mud) the soil would setup like concrete. In the early spring I keep the cattle confined to a limited sacrifice area because of this.

Maybe a local/climate/soils thing. Seems like the positive comments on frost seeding are coming from Missouri on south into Texas.
 

dun

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SRBeef":383e4o2c said:
Problems with frost seeding. I have mostly heavy dubuque clay W WI soils. Maybe that was the problem. I've tried broadcasting clover in early spring so it falls in the cracks you sometimes get in the spring. Problem is we go from snow cover to mud in a heartbeat...

Planting it in thte spring isn;t frost seeding. The principle behind frost seeding is that as the soil freezes and and thaws the seed is worked into the soil. You have to have #1 soil moisture and #2 to freezgin and thawing that causes the soil to expand and contract.
 
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Stocker Steve

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I could write a small book on how not to frost seed... I will jump to the best I have seen - - he had great stands of red clover:

1) PH over 6 (to improve legume growth vs. grass)
2) pounds the paddock in the previous fall to weaken the grass and expose the soil (it looks almost like a dry lot)
3) gets out there early and broadcasts while there is still 20 to 30% snow cover (to check seed distribution and maximize the number of freeze/thaw cycles)
4) puts on 4 to 5#/acre every year even though he only expects the right weather (and a thus good catch) every second or third year
 

Steve Wilson

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I've been kicking an idea around for seeding clover this winter. Maybe some of you have already tried it and can tell me how it worked out. Instead of renting the county's no till drill, at $10 an acre; what about slinging it with a 3 point seeder and dragging it in with a flex tine harrow? The pasture is nice and short already.

I've only frost seeded clover one time and that didn't work too well because the following spring we had little rain and that was followed by a drought. I called my seed supplier yesterday. Coated Solid Red clover is going for $3.32 a pound. That's 15 bucks an acre, at my planned seeding rate of 5 pounds per acre.
 

Angus Cowman

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Steve Wilson":3agwiioo said:
I've been kicking an idea around for seeding clover this winter. Maybe some of you have already tried it and can tell me how it worked out. Instead of renting the county's no till drill, at $10 an acre; what about slinging it with a 3 point seeder and dragging it in with a flex tine harrow? The pasture is nice and short already.

I've only frost seeded clover one time and that didn't work too well because the following spring we had little rain and that was followed by a drought. I called my seed supplier yesterday. Coated Solid Red clover is going for $3.32 a pound. That's 15 bucks an acre, at my planned seeding rate of 5 pounds per acre.
we ran the finish disc over some 2 yr ago and planted at 8lbs per acre and had a good stand but we done this in oct we didn't drag or roll it at all after seeding
 

dun

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I've never drug it afterwards. Remember to wait till around the beginning of February to do the frost seeding.
 

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