Nutritive value of white clover

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angus9259

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Pasture is short (in length) this year but heavy in white clover. Cattle look really fleshy - maybe more than normal - even with calves on. I was wondering about the nutritive value of white clover - any thoughts?

Here's something I found on the web indicating a higher protein level than grass, but a less digestible protein.

http://www.fao.org/docrep/v2350e/v2350e03.htm
 

1982vett

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angus9259":3jqfval1 said:
Pasture is short (in length) this year but heavy in white clover. Cattle look really fleshy - maybe more than normal - even with calves on. I was wondering about the nutritive value of white clover - any thoughts?

Here's something I found on the web indicating a higher protein level than grass, but a less digestible protein.

http://www.fao.org/docrep/v2350e/v2350e03.htm


Hmm, It might just be me, but at some point...................


However, the clover consisted of both 'leaves' and 'flowers'. Gibb and Theacher (1983) and Wilman and Altimimi (1984) found a low digestibility in the flowering stem, and especially in the flower. The leaves and the petioles had the highest digestibility.

Well duh!---nothing new about declining palatability, digestibility and nutrition as forages age.

For all things their is a season. Adequate rainfall and good fertility are the key to abundant forage. Cattle are going to respond accordingly.
 

MO_cows

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We have more white clover this year than ever before. The cows seem to prefer it to the grass, and they are as fat as I have ever seen them. I have a heavy milking cow raising twins and even she is getting fat. But I worry what they will have to eat when the hot, dry late summer gets here and the clover dries up.
 

dun

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According the the feed comp tables, wihte clover runs in 20% protein range
 
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angus9259

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MO_cows":2nsyvc2k said:
We have more white clover this year than ever before. The cows seem to prefer it to the grass, and they are as fat as I have ever seen them. I have a heavy milking cow raising twins and even she is getting fat. But I worry what they will have to eat when the hot, dry late summer gets here and the clover dries up.

This is exactly my experience.

1. Why would white clover be high this year?
2. Will it choke out natural grass?
3. Sure is helping their bcs . . . seemingly even more than 20% protein would indicate.
 

MO_cows

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1) I think it's just the weather pattern. We've had good moisture and it hasn't gotten hot yet. We had a mild winter, too.

2) Wait and see.

But for anybody doing grass-finished beef, this is their year!
 

1982vett

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MO_cows":86mt892o said:
1) I think it's just the weather pattern. We've had good moisture and it hasn't gotten hot yet. We had a mild winter, too.

2) Wait and see.

But for anybody doing grass-finished beef, this is their year!

Depending on where they are. ;-)
 

kenny thomas

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Here it seems clover, both white and red are hit and miss. Some articles say the seed will stay in the ground for 60-80 years and then when conditions are right starts to grow. I plant it and it does not come and some years I do not and have plenty. Be glad you have it and don't worry about it choking out anything else.
 

mnmtranching

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Around here ,it's the Fall before what determines the following years clovers in the pastures. The seeds are dormant during the hot dry Summer and when we get a moist mild Fall [late Aug and Sept] the clover seeds germinate and we have clover everywhere. A little Spring rain and we have very good pasture.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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"seed will stay in the ground for 60-80 years and then when conditions are right starts to grow"
This comment is very true. You've probably heard me refer to how great grass grows in NY.
Well, you can take a corn field, never do anything to it except mow the weeds & pretty soon you will have grass (quack mainly) and clover. Clover pops up everywhere. If you control the weeds through mowing, you can have a good grazing field. It's amazing to me.
 

backhoeboogie

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angus9259":1rybrke2 said:
2. Will it choke out natural grass?

I have had Hubam white sweet clover as tall as 8 feet on the river flood plain. All it does is constantly add N to the soil. Better than liquid fertilizer. Once the cows mow the clover down, look out! The grass is growing so fast you can almost hear it straining.
 

dun

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The problem with trying to assign a protein value to white clover is that there are 3 types, large, medium and small. Most of the different culivars are larfe white. So just looking at white clover as a bunch you could have dozens (at least) of varietys. I doubt if they all are all that close in protein or any of the other things that go into nutritive value.
 

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