Legacy offers improved clover production in your high performing perennial pasture systems. It is a new large leaf white clover that brings greater persistence and improved year-round production. Greater productivity and persistence of clover results in more nitrogen being generated to drive pasture performance.
Legacy is a new broadly adaptive large leaf white clover which offers excellent cool season activity, high stolon density, above average persistence and improved year round performance. It has been trialled under higher nitrogen use systems where it has maintained persistence and production for the life of the trial (3 years). The majority of other white clovers, including Kopu II, struggled to maintain persistence and therefore, production dropped off. Legacy provides a new cultivar option for the farmers in Australia seeking to improve white clover yield and persistence in pastures under dairy grazing management.
A key feature of Legacy is the dry matter production through winter and early spring, which is uncommon in other available white clovers. This will increase protein levels in the diet for the grazing animal over a longer period, rather than just during late spring and through into summer.
Establishing white clover can be challenging, but when done right, offers excellent rewards such as increased feed quality and overall dry matter production. White clover is classified as a small seed, but it is considerably smaller than many other species and it is very important to take a little more care when sowing any pasture that contains white clover.
A soil test is highly recommended to identify the levels of key nutrients; such as phosphorus, sulphur and potassium, as well as soil pH levels to ensure they are correct prior to sowing a new permanent pasture. Phosphorus is important for all species early in establishment and sulphur is more important for legume growth and development to aid with nodulation. Soil tests are easy to do and are an excellent tool to manage nutrient movement within a farm as well as down to a paddock situation.
Sowing depth is an important consideration and while seed to soil contact is still important to achieve the best results, sowing depth can be the biggest contributing factor of failure in establishing white clover. Sowing depth greater than 10mm will start to have a negative impact on the germination and eventual establishment of white clover. Care needs to be taken when setting up the sowing equipment and to monitor the sowing depth throughout the sowing period. The use of a roller or harrows certainly helps if the sowing technique is to drop the seed on the soil surface rather than placing it into furrows.
Being a legume, white clover requires Group B inoculant to be applied to the seed prior to sowing. PGG Wrightson Seeds Superstrike™ Seed Treatment includes the Group B inoculant. Many Australian soils which have had white clover grown in the past may have background rhizobia present in the soil which will aid the ongoing growth for the life of the white clover.
Grasslands Legacy has been bred in New Zealand, using a comprehensive crossing method (poly crossing). Legacy is an elite selection where 5 breeding lines were selected and crossed after three years of trialing in a dairy farm trial in Manawatu,
The selection criteria used for Legacy was:
The first 2-3 grazings of a new mixed pasture (ryegrass and clover) is critically important for the establishment and longevity of the white clover. It is easy for the white clover to be shaded out by the faster growing ryegrass; which includes perennial ryegrass and more typically tetraploid perennial ryegrass. Once the ryegrass component of the new pasture is able to withstand the “pull test”,
then a light graze with a light class of stock (sheep ideally) should be implemented. This is beneficial to the ryegrass but critical to the establishment of the white clover because it allows for natural sunlight to be able to reach the white clover. Sunlight is required for plant photosynthesis, which allows for the white clover to continue to develop and establish. It is important to keep the new pasture canopy as open as possible which will pay dividends for seasons to come.
Once established, rotational grazing is recommended for the productivity and persistence of white clover. It allows the required time for the white clover to utilise and store carbohydrates in the root zone without being constantly grazed. If the white clover is continuously grazed, then the plants’ ability to store any carbohydrates is diminished and therefore its ability to be able to continue to grow is reduced. Grazing at the 2½ to 3 leaf stage of the ryegrass is a good, easy method to follow and then down to a residual of approximately 1,400kg/DMha.
Legacy, through its breeding and trialling, has shown a higher tolerance to harder grazing. It has also shown to persist well under a sheep grazing trial which generally will be grazed harder and to a lower residual that in a cattle situation. While the recommendation is still to rotationally graze any high performing pasture with Legacy as part of the mix, it should give confidence that Legacy will be able to withstand harsher grazing management situations and therefore remain for the life of the pasture – for however long that may be.
Minimum 800mm rainfall per annum unless irrigated