Berseem Clover

Berseem clover is an annual clover that is fast growing and has quick recovery. It can be used for haylage, hay, pasture, green manure, or as a cover crop. Tests have shown that Berseem is very palatable (cattle love it!) Bloat problems have never been reported with Berseem.

The commercial use of Berseem Clover (also known as Egyptian clover) is relatively new in the United States. It has been an important crop in the Mediterranean, Near East, and India for many years. Until recently Berseem Clover was only used in the southern states as a winter forage crop and also for green manure. With the development of new varieties, Berseem is finding its niche in the Midwest. Dr. Mohammadreza “Mo” Ghaffarzadeh of Iowa State University (who is doing research work on Berseem as a forage and nitrogen producer in Iowa) is very much enthused about Berseem and has stated that Berseem should be called the "King of Cover Crops" for the Midwest. Berseem has tremendous potential for providing high quality forage and improving soil conditions as a green manure crop because of its fast growth characteristics and capacity to fix nitrogen. (Tests show that it can produce well over 100 units of nitrogen to the acre.)

Berseem is very palatable and is relished by all livestock. There has never been a case of bloat reported with Berseem. Berseem forage contains from 18 to 28 percent crude protein, very comparable with alfalfa. One farmer reported a lab report of 26.2 percent crude protein and a relative food value of 151 on this third cutting of green chop.

Adaptation and Establishment: Berseem will thrive in wet conditions much better than alfalfa. However, it will not tolerate drought or hard soil conditions as well as alfalfa. In the northern United States, Berseem should make 3 crops the same year that it is planted. In the South it should be planted in the fall and 6 or 7 crops can be expected. Although Berseem grows in a variety of soils, medium-loam soils that are slightly alkaline will produce the best crop. It is moderately resistant to saline conditions and appears superior to alfalfa and red clover in salt tolerance.

Berseem can be a godsend to spruce up a thin stand of alfalfa. In these conditions plant 8 to 12 lbs. to the acre depending on the thickness of the alfalfa. Use 8 to 15 lbs. to the acre when planting with Italian Ryegrass, Mutua Bromegrass or any of the annual ryegrasses for hay or pasture. Berseem has been planted with turnips or tyfon for a superb pasture for sheep. When planting with oats, barley, or triticale for haylage, 12 to 15 pounds to the acre is recommended. Adding Berseem will increase the protein content and enhance the quality of the haylage. Then the second and third crops can be used for hay, pasture or haylage. If Berseem is planted with a grain crop for green manure it is recommended that the Berseem be broadcast 30 days later to slow down the development of the Berseem. Sow Berseem on top when the grain crop is 2-4 inches tall. Then cover the Berseem by using a rotary hoe.

Berseem will do best on a firm, well-prepared seedbed. Try to cover the seed ¼ of an inch or cultipack prepared seedbeds to press the seed into the soil surface and to conserve moisture. Establishment has been successful by surfacing the seed on closely clipped sods.

Characteristics
Berseem Clover is characterized by its oblong leaves, hollow stems, upright growth habit and yellowish-white flowers. Berseem looks much like alfalfa and Berseem plants usually grow 20 to 30 inches tall (dependant on soil fertility and moisture) and have been seen just as tall as the barley and oats when it was planted with these grains.

Establishment
DO NOT FROST SEED!

Establishment of Berseem is very similar to practices used for alfalfa, except Berseem can not take as much freezing as alfalfa (temperatures of 25 degrees or under will kill off the plants).

Early spring seeding is recommended, when the soil and air temperatures are over at least 25 degrees. Fertilization is similar to alfalfa; if soil is phosphorous deficient, the crop will benefit from 60 to 80 units of phosphate.

Establishment has been successful by surfacing the seed on closely clipped sod.

When interseeding on thin stands of alfalfa, best results were obtained by either springtoothing or discing the alfalfa stand lightly. This gives the Berseem a nice mellow seedbed to start in. Use a drill and plant 1/4 to 1/2" deep or broadcast and roll with cultipacker to conserve moisture.

Berseem is commonly used with Italian Ryegrass to spruce up poor alfalfa stands. If Berseem clover is planted with a grain crop for green manure it is recommended that the Berseem be broadcast 30 days later to slow down the development of the Berseem. Sow Berseem on top when grain crop is 2-4" tall. Then cover Berseem by using a rotary hoe. Grazing or cutting Berseem can begin when the stand reaches 10" in heighth and when basal shoots begin to grow.

Depending on the planting date, climate, and temperatures this may take anywhere from 30-60 days. Subsequent cuttings can be taken at 3" heighth to encourage new shoot production. Berseem has been planted with turnips for a superb pasture for sheep.

For haylage, adding Berseem clover will increase the protein content and enhance the quality of haylage. Then the second and third crops can be used for hay, pasture or haylage.

When planting with oats, barley, or triticale for haylage, plant 12-15#/A.

In the midwest, seed after April 10th-15th. In northern US, Berseem should make 3 crops the same year it is planted. In the southern US, Berseem should be planted in the fall and 6 or 7 crops can be expected.

Although Berseem grows in a variety of soils, medium loam soils that are slightly alkaline will produce the best crop. Boron is also recommended.

Berseem is moderately resistant to saline conditions and appears superior to alfalfa and red clover in salt tolerance. Berseem will thrive in wet soil but will not tolerate drought or hard soil conditions well.

Management

DO's and DON'T's with Berseem:

***DO NOT FROST SEED***

Berseem will NOT TAKE FROST-SEEDING or as much freezing as alfalfas and red clovers. Do not seed until soil temperature is above 25 degrees.

***BERSEEM MUST BE CUT BEFORE THE PLANTS BLOOM!***

Once the plants bloom, the growth cycle is over, they will not recover so it is important to graze or cut prior to flowering.

Berseem works very well in companion crops with Italian Ryegrass or any of the Brassicas such a Rape, Tyfon or Turnips.

Berseem responds to liberal applications of phospate and potash.

Grazing or cutting Berseem can begin when the stand reaches 10 inches in height, and when basal shoots begin to grow. Depending on planting date, climate, and temperatures this may take anywhere from 30 to 60 days. Subsequent cuttings can be taken every 25 to 30 days, down to 3", until the first serious freeze. Graze or clip to encourage new shoot production. For best results, rotate the grazing of Berseem Clover. This will give better total production by increasing yield and by increasing the longevity of the stand during the summer. Dry-down of Berseem Clover is ½ day longer than alfalfa.

Product Type: Clover

Producer: (None)

Inoculated: Yes

Treated: No

Printable Version

Price
50lb. bag $130.00


Planting Rates
Stand alone10-20
In mix8-12
Rates are




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