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Yellow Sweetclover year

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coyote doctor

New member
May 16, 2011
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Western South Dakota
Thought everyone might enjoy seeing the sweetclover that's growing in our part of South Dakota this year. What a year to have yearlings or honey bees! We have been using portable electric fence to make smaller pastures getting a little more use on the clover than we would if they had access to the whole pasture. The cattle just vanish when the enter a new pasture. Some of it is six feet tall.

We have some in our heavier soils, but we have mostly sand, so it isn't like what others have. I have seen some in western SD and western ND that would cover a section. This is definetley a clover year.
Now that should give them something to eat for a while.
I would hate to be the one that has to move the fence though . :wink:

Looks like you are having a good summer. :)
The clover is the same way up here. I've got one small pasture that used to be a CRP field that I had yearlings in for a couple of weeks, took them out June 6 and I cut it for hay July 3.
We have lots this year as well. quite a bit of it is on native prairie that has a wire grass bottom so not nice for cutting hay. I know it does dry the soil out quite deep but does anybody know if it fixes much nitrogen that could be used by the grass in the future?
Sweet Clover contains coumarin that converts to dicoumarol (a powerful anticoagulant toxin) when the plant becomes mouldy. This can lead to bleeding diseases (internal hemorrhaging) and death in cattle. Consequently, hay containing the plant must be properly dried and cured, especially in wet environments.[1] In the chemical industry dicoumarol is extracted from the plant to produce rodenticide.

Sweet clover is a legume so
it fixes nitrogen and should be credited for N-additions; believed to move P and K to the root zone via its tap root system

That's one heck of a stand of clover!

Last year was our sweet clover year but this year there it's scare as hen's teeth in the same fields, even with good moisture conditions. Can't figure it out.
Is sweet clover a biennial plant? Here is west central SD, it seems to start one year, and do the real growth the next year.

It definitely is a mixed blessing! Between the tangling, and questionnable feed vallue. It often seems to be too tall and ranlk, with much of the leaf falling off if hayed when dry enough not to rot or be moldy, with some danger to cattle feeding on it.

Wow coyote, imagine what you'd have if it would have grown!! You could lose a whole herd of cows in that stuff! lol

That should do some terrific soil building as a plow down.
We don't hear much about green manure anymore. at one time a lot of sweet clover was planted just to plow down. Not much in my area though, it uses a lot of moisture.
Coyote , You cut that for hay first & then plow it down as a second cutting ? or you put all that back in the ground ?

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