The issue:

Outdated sub-clover cultivars can be very problematic. They can cost autumn and winter pasture production due to growth habit, soil-borne diseases, insect attack or the fact they are oestrogenic, which affects livestock fertility.

The impact:

Reduced winter feed production of up to 30% and, if oestrogenic clovers are present, long and short-term infertility lowering lambing percentages to 25–70%.

The opportunity:

More recently bred cultivars offer better disease and insect resistance and low oestrogen content. This means improved long-term winter pasture production and animal performance.

Outdated sub-clover cultivars can result in significant pasture and/or animal underperformance. The most common losses occur because the sub-clover contains oestrogen, resulting in ewe fertility issues* and/or are susceptible to plant diseases, resulting in lower annual production.

Improvements in growth characteristics, pest and disease resistance also contribute to the widening gap between older and newer cultivars.

Two mid-maturing black-seeded cultivars. On the left is the older Seaton Park cultivar, versus the newer Campeda on the right, showing additional biomass production

* Cattle are less likely to be affected, although international studies report cows fed hay containing oestrogenic clovers suffered from short-term infertility.

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