Top 4 Perennial Legumes

 Red Clover

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                Red clover is a dependable, low-cost, readily available workhorse that is winter hardy in much of the U.S. Red clover is a go-to legume for many with its ability to create a moderate amount of nitrogen, help to suppress weeds and break up heavy soil. We like Prairie Fire Red Clover specifically for pastures and hay because it is an improved variety with superior longetvity compared to common medium red clover.

          Uses: Use red clover for forage, grazing and nitrogen production. It’s a great cover crop legume to frost seed or inter-seed with small grains where you can harvest grain as well as provide weed suppression and manage nitrogen.

          Rate: Seeding a pure stand: 15 to 20 lbs per acre, Seeding with grass: 8 to 10 lbs per acre, Frost seeding into grass: 10 to 12 lbs per acre.

White Clover

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            Many most likely already have white clover in pasture and hay stands. It is very common in the Midwest because it is a very persistent clover. PCS uses RegalGraze White Clover for its more upright growth and larger leaves that increase tonnage and production. White clovers are resilient to heat, cold, drought, and flooding. What’s not to love?

          Uses: Use white clover as the long-term legume in your pasture blends where you want a mix of persistent legumes and grasses.

          Rate: Seeding a pure stand: 3 to 5 lbs per acre, Seeding with grass: 1 to 3 lbs per acre, Frost seeding into grass: 3 to 6 lbs per acre.

Alsike Clover

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            This short-lived perennial is also a workhorse like white clover with even larger leaves. Alsike handles more acidic soils and heavier soils that tend to flood thanks to its deep branching taproot. This clover is well adapted to the Midwest and has good winter hardiness.

         Uses: Use alsike clover in your tougher pastures where you want a legume to enrich your sward and provide high quality forage.

         Rate: Seeding a pure stand: 3 to 5 lbs per acre, Seeding with grass: 1 to 3 lbs per acre, Frost seeding into grass: 3 to 6 lbs per acre.

BONUS Legume! Birdsfoot Trefoil

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                Not a clover, but it is an excellent non-bloating legume. That’s right, this legume, has no concern of causing bloat when grazed and also provides excellent forage quality. This is a deep-rooted, short-lived perennial that can reseed naturally for persistence. For grazing, a longer rest period is needed for Birdsfoot Trefoil to perform best.

         Uses: Use Birdsfoot Trefoil as a legume in your pasture blends or added into existing pasture to increase diversity. Another bonus: pollinator benefit, look at those yellow flowers!

         Rate: Seeding a new stand: 4 to 6 lbs per acre, along with 15 to 18 lbs per acre of Renovator  or a straight grass blend, Seeding with no-till drill: 5 to 8 lbs per acre into existing stands, Frost seeding: 6 to 12 lbs per acre