Alyce Clover is a annual summer sweet clover most commonly used for wildlife food plots, cattle forage and hay production. Alyce clover is great for deer, turkey and quail! Planted along fence lines, fire breaks Alyce clover will provide cover as well as seed throughout the fall and early winter. Alyce Clover is a high protein legume that provides essential nutrients for antler growth during the summer months. Alyce clover can be planted as early as the last chance of frost in the spring. It will grow throughout the summer and fall. Alyce clover will reseed if the seed pods reach maturity before the first frost.
Alyce Clover is adapted to well-drained soils with good fertility. These can be either upland sands or flatwoods with good drainage. Alyce Clover does not perform well on soils that flood. Avoid sites with high levels of rootknot nematodes. These pests will attack common Alyce Clover and may severely damage the crop. Sites where Alyce Clover or other crops susceptible to rootknot nematodes have been grown in the previous season may have high levels of nematodes.
If winter rains have been below normal and soil moisture is low, then overseeding of a grass sod should be delayed until the summer rains begin in June. Use the high rate when the seedbed and soil condition are less favorable. The seed may be inoculated just prior to planting with N-fixing bacteria.
When planting into a grass sod that has been disked or chopped, the seed can be broadcast, followed by a harrow or drag of some type that will mix the seed with the soil, and then a cultipacker or roller may be useful to firm the soil. A good rain after broadcasting the seed will move the seed down and firm the soil, thus eliminating the need for harrowing and packing, but rainfall is unpredictable. When using a pasture drill, make sure the grass is cut or grazed short. When planting on a prepared seedbed, the seed are usually broadcast and covered with a cultipacker or planted with a grain drill. With either method, seed should be covered to a depth of 1/4 to 1/2". A well-prepared, level seedbed allows for planting at the right depth.
LIMING AND FERTILIZATION
Alyce Clover will not produce satisfactory growth on the very acid soils of low fertility. This crop requires a soil pH of 5.5 to 6.0. A soil test can be used to determine the need for lime, phosphorous, and potassium. If Alyce Clover is planted immediately following a highly fertilized crop, such as watermelons, it may not be necessary to add additional lime or fertilizer.
MANAGEMENT AND UTILIZATION
Alyce Clover makes good quality hay if the crop is harvested before it is overly mature and if it is dried and baled without significant leaf loss. Hay should be cut when plants are 18 to 24" tall. A second cutting of hay is possible under favorable growing conditions. In many cases, Alyce Clover is planted late and only one hay cutting is made. This harvest should be made when the crop begins to flower. The crop may vary in height from 10 in to 3 ft.
Alyce Clover planted early (April or May) will be tall enough for hay in mid to late August, but frequent rainfall may prevent harvesting at this time. Harvest can be delayed from 4 to 6 weeks without a severe loss in feeding value.
Alyce Clover can be grazed after the plants are about 12" tall. The animals should be removed after the plants are grazed down in order to permit regrowth. Overgrazing could allow weeds to invade the stand. The first growth may be grazed down and animals removed and regrowth used for hay or seed production. Alyce Clover can be used in a creep graze system for calves. Four-month-old calves have gained an additional 0.3 to 0.5 lb/day until they were weaned when Alyce Clover was available in a creep pasture.
Seed yields of up to 600 lbs. / acre may be obtained. Seed may be combined directly or the plants may be mowed, cured in the swath, and then threshed with a combine with a pick-up attachment. The latter method will usually result in a larger amount of seed being saved. Harvest of seed should begin when about 1/2 of the seed pods are brown. This will usually occur about mid-October.