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AGR-175

Forage Identification and Use Guide

Sweetclover

Melilotus spp.

Sweetclover leaflets are thicker than those of alfalfa and have serrations, or indentions, around the border. The petiole, or stem, of the middle leaflet of sweetclover is much longer than those of the other two leaflets. Sweetclover grows taller than alfalfa and can have either yellow or white flowers.

Description
Upright, coarse-stemmed, biennial, cool-season taprooted legume. Grows 4 to 8 feet tall. Leaves have serrations completely around the edge.

Uses
Primarily cover crop for wildlife.

Advantages
Nitrogen fixation, drought tolerant, winter-hardy.

Disadvantages
Intolerant of soil acidity. Contains coumarin, which reduces palatability and causes hemorrhaging in livestock.

Seeding
Rate: 10-15 lb/a
Depth: ¼-½ in
Date: Feb 1-Apr 15

Harvest
First harvest: Not applicable
Annual yield: 1-3 tons dry matter/a


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