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Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.)

Characteristics

  • Yield based on 3 harvests/season
  • Seeds/pound: 375,000
  • Seeding rate: 4-6 lbs pure live seed/acre (10-12 lbs/acre for conservation purposes)
  • Seeding date: early spring, or late summer before August 1
  • Late maturing, better for pasture than hay crop
  • Can graze frequently, but not closely, persists in NYS by reseeding
  • Also used for erosion control, soil improvement and forage for deer

Advantages

  • excellent quality possible
  • well adapted to acid or variably drained soils
  • no bloat hazard
  • best legume to stockpile for fall grazing

Concerns

  • not persistent in NYS due to Fusarium disease complex
  • slow to establish, slow spring growth and regrowth
  • lower yielding than alfalfa
  • needs fall rest period
  • poor shade tolerance
  • fair drought tolerance

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