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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #369990

Title: Hydroseeding Kura Clover – How does it Compare to Conventional Drilling?

item Baker, John

Submitted to: Forage Focus
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/11/2019
Publication Date: 11/18/2019
Citation: Baker, J.M. 2019. Hydroseeding Kura Clover – How does it Compare to Conventional Drilling?. Forage Focus. (November 2019):21.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Kura clover has considerable promise for use as a perennial cover crop into which row crops can be planted. However, a major drawback to its wider use is that it can be slow to establish. We tested the hypothesis that establishment might be improved if it were planted with a hydroseeder, rather than a conventional seed drill. We also examined the possibility that hydroseeding might work best if the seed were pre-germinated by soaking it overnight before planting. An experiment was conducted in 2018 at Rosemount MN with three treatments: conventional seed drill (D), hydroseeding (H), and hydroseeding with pregermination (HP). Four replications of each treatment were planted on June 5. Emergence occurred first on the drill plots, but within 3 weeks there was little visible difference between treatments. On Spetember 25 all plots were harvested by mowing at a height of 5 cm, and the fresh weights were recorded. The D and H treatment had nearly identical mean harvests, while the HP mean value was somewhat lower. However, the differences were not significant, and all plots had full cover and a similar appearance at the end of the growing season. Since conventional drilling is faster than hydroseeding, we conclude that it is the preferable planting method, except in circumstances where it is difficult to use a drill, such as steep slopes or pieces of land that are too narrow or too oddly shaped for the use of a drill. We further conclude that proper seedbed preparation may be more important that the choice of seeding equipment for obtaining an acceptable stand of kura clover.