Submitted to: New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/25/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: White clover is grown in many different areas throughout the world. New Zealand is a large producer of white clover seed and New Zealand cultivars are often sold in the U.S. However the climate in which New Zealand cultivars are developed is vastly different from the climate in which white clover is grown in the southeastern U.S. This study compared performance of eight New Zealand white clovers with seven U.S. white clovers when grown alone and with two main U.S. pasture grasses, tall fescue and bermudagrass. The U.S. white clovers had greater yields and spread more thoughout the grass sods than did the New Zealand white clovers. Farmers should use cultivars developed in the U.S. environment to achieve maximum production and persistence of white clover in U.S. pastures.
Technical Abstract: The use of plant material outside the country of development is common, but whether such material is superior to existing types of the same species is questionable. Seven United States and eight New Zealand white clover (Trifolioum repens) cultivars, germplasms, or breeding populations were evaluated for plant spread and dry matter yield for two years at Mississippi State, Mississippi, USA when grown in monoculture or with grasses having differing seasonal growth patterns, tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) and bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon). Plant material originating in the United States had 49-53% greater plant spread and 79-222% greater clover dry matter yield in monoculture or in association with either grass than the New Zealand material. Osceola, SRVR, and Brown Loam Syn#2 white clover had greater plant spread than all New Zealand material at 9 of 11 sampling dates. White clover spread and yield under monoculture showed a closer correlation with growth in association with common bermudagrass than with tall fescue. White clover should be selected in the climate and with the grass association in which it is to be utilized.