Hay Mix June 2006
This field was planted in May of 2005 with no cover crop to a mixture of Birdsfoot Trefoil, Titan Timothy, Fleet Meadow Brome and Courtney Tall Fescue. We did harvest about one ton per acre in August of that year, but the first real harvest was in 2006. The attached picture shows the crop we cut from this field in June of 2006, 13 months after it was planted. As you can see there is almost no Birdsfoot Trefoil showing, in fact I thought it all winter killed. It was not until this year (3rd year) that the trefoil has started to show again. All the info that I read, states that Birdsfoot Trefoil is slow to establish, I just did not understand how slow. The other plants in the picture are meadow brome and tall fescue. I would say the trefoil is fairly spotty in this field, although it is filling in more every year. Who knows, maybe in a few years it will be thick all over. Ideally, the stand will last 5-10 years, but I was not pleased with the crop this year and will have to reassess it next spring. The best example of trefoil I know of is in McBride. There is a lower river bench field in its 5th year and it has not been fertilized it in three years. The grass definitely showed the lack of nitrogen, but the trefoil was strong all over the whole field (about 70 acres) and by late July, he had a decent crop. My experience tells me that the trefoil does not compete well with well fertilized grass, but would probably do well in a pasture situation.