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Wilmington College 2005 

 Leguminous Forage Crops

Common Name:

Birdsfoot Trefoil

Latin Name:

Lotus corniculatus

Variety:

Norcen

Crop Origin:

Northern Europe

Type:

Perennial Cool Season Forage

Date Planted:

24 June, 2004

Growth Stages in Ohio

Birdsfoot Trefoil Jan 1 06.JPG (3389090 bytes) Birdsfoot trefoil feb 6 06.JPG (1586385 bytes) Birdsfoot Trefoil March 4 06.JPG (3396787 bytes) Birdsfoot Trefoil Apr 4 06.JPG (3151732 bytes) Birdsfoot Trefoil May 5 06.JPG (2767763 bytes) Birdsfoot trefoil 3 June 05.JPG (3556896 bytes)
January February March April May June
Birdsfoot trefoil 1 July 05.JPG (3602056 bytes) Birdsfoot trefoil 7aug05.JPG (2584758 bytes) Birdsfoot trefoil 3 sep 05.JPG (2574725 bytes) Birdsfoot trefoil 1 oct 05.JPG (2522023 bytes) Birdsfoot trefoil 4 Nov 05.JPG (2707677 bytes) Birdsfoot trefoil 2 dec 05.JPG (3816451 bytes)
July August

September

October November December

Cultivation in Ohio

Primary Uses:

Forage

 Planting:

March 15-April 20

 Seeding Rate:

4-6 pounds Pure Live Seed per acre

Fertility:

More than other forage legumes, birdsfoot trefoil is tolerant of low-pH soils (as low as pH 5.0), moderate to somewhat poor soil drainage, marginal fertility, and fragipans. Birdsfoot trefoil can withstand several weeks of flooding, and tolerates periods of moderate drought and heat. It fixes 44-150 lbs N/acre/year.

Insects:

It is resistant to insects and produces forage of excellent quality.

Diseases:

Crown and Root rots may be a problem in heavy soils.  Nematodes may also be a problem in light textured soils.

Harvest:

It produces excellent quality forage, has fair palatability, stockpiles well, and is non-bloating.

Comments:

Empire-type varieties have prostrate growth and fine stems, making them well suited to grazing. European-type varieties are more erect, establish faster, and regrow faster after harvest. Thus, they are well suited to hay production and rotational grazing.

Identification

Leaf:

 Birdsfoot_ Trefoil_ stem1.JPG (985311 bytes)

Flower:

Birdsfoot_ trefoil_ flower1.JPG (2207245 bytes) Birdsfoot_ trefoil_ flower2.JPG (2401571 bytes)

Seeds:

Birdsfoot_trefoil_seed.JPG (1236428 bytes)

Distribution:

Birdsfoot Trefoil map.jpg (31216 bytes)
 

More Info:

http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/forages/publications/legumes/birdsfoot.htm 
http://ohioline.osu.edu/b472/ 
http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/cropsystems/components/DC5963t.html