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Sweetclover has a notorious reputation for causing "sweetclover disease" when …

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- Sweetclover Production and Agronomy

Sweetclover Production and Agronomy


*Agriculture Canada Research Station, 107 Science Crescent, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N 0X2. Contribution No. 741.

Communication presented at the Conference on Planned Animal Health and Production in Dairy and Beef Cattle. Western College of Veterinary

Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. June 11-15, 1979.


Sweetclover has a notorious reputation for causing "sweetclover disease" when improperly cured. In spite of this, however, sweetclover remains a useful forage legume with valuable agronomic traits. It is droughtresistant and well adapted to Western Canada. Sweetclover is the highest yielding legume forage in this region and is valuable in soil improvement, silage, hay and pasture production and a prized crop for the honey producer. It is the most saline-tolerant of the legumes and is particularly useful on saline "white alkali" soils where cereals and other crops cannot grow.

Special precautions are necessary to avoid spoilage and concomitant dicoumarol formation in preserving sweetclover hay and silage. Feeding recommendations are suggested for the safe utilization of spoiled forage. Low coumarin cultivars of sweetclover are completely safe and will not result in sweetclover disease despite spoilage. The breeding program at Saskatoon is expected to produce a new low coumarin (yellow flowered) sweetclover cultivar within the next two years.

Can. vet. J. 21: 149-151 (May 1980)

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