The primary goal of The Oregon Clover web site is to provide information and helpful resources that will help people can learn about clover. For that reason, this clover site provides well-documented, research-based information. Please visit our Resources page to read the full documents.
Clovers have long been viewed as beneficial plants with a variety of important forage and cover crop characteristics. The incentives for using clovers, including cost savings to farmers and ranchers, are growing. In addition to the five uses of clover described in detail on our Forage, Cover Crop, Wildlife, Lawn and Garden, and Nitrogen Fixation pages, below are some additional descriptions of the ways clover is beneficial.
For specific information on Red Clover Uses, Crimson Clover Uses, and White Clover Uses, please visit our Clover pages.
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS OF CLOVER
The introduction of clovers into grass pastures often extends the grazing season as compared to grass alone. Red clover is especially likely to provide additional summer production when grown with cool season perennial grasses. Addition of cool season annual legumes to bermudagrass or other warm season perennial grasses permits production of quality feed during winter and early spring when pastures would otherwise be unproductive. Some clovers, like arrowleaf clover can extend the grazing season when grown on prepared seedbeds with annual grasses.
Improved Soil Quality in Cropping Systems
In addition to providing nitrogen for succeeding crops, clovers improve soil characteristics by building organic matter, reducing erosion, and increasing moisture holding capacity. Clovers deep taproot and extensive root channels help reduce compaction. These qualities, and many others, benefit subsequent crops grown in rotation with clovers or clover/grass mixtures.
Reduced Pest Pressure
Planting a mixed stand of grass and clovers reduces the risk of disease and insect pressure. Economic constitutes a lower risk situation than having a pure grass stand. For example, a disease or insect pest is less likely to devastate a mixed forage stand. Additionally, clovers are known to attract pollinators and beneficial predatory insects.
Clovers are more colorful and attractive than grasses, especially when blooming. They make pastures more attractive to humans and, given their palatability, to grazing animals as well.