Annual Clovers

Annual clovers grow well in winter and spring and then set seed and die prior to summer as a survival mechanism in drought prone areas. Not surprisingly, most annual clovers used in New Zealand have originated in Australia. Sub clover is presently the main annual clover but a number of different annual clovers (e.g. Arrowleaf, Balansa, Persian) are being tested. These clovers have potential to produce large quantities of high quality spring feed. However they are aerial seeders which means they flower at the top of the plant and this has implications for grazing management. The challenge is to develop grazing management systems which will enable these annual clovers to be used effectively in dryland.