Nitrogen Replacement Value of Red Clover

Published Dec 5, 2014

Extending and diversifying a crop rotation to include a small grain presents farmers with the opportunity to also include a forage legume that could possibly reduce the need for synthetic N fertilizer. Cooperator Tim Sieren grew corn in rotation following cereal rye frost-seeded with red clover and corn in rotation following cereal rye alone. Tim also applied a low and high N rate to the corn following rye + red clover and the corn following rye alone.

Key Findings

  • Corn following rye and red clover and receiving 100 lb N/ac yielded the same as corn following rye alone that received 143 and 190 lb N/ac.
  • This was enough of a reduction in applied N to significantly reduce the amount of money Tim spent on N fertilizer per bushel of corn produced.