Developing productive and persistent red clover cultivars for sustainable livestock production

Michael T. Abberton

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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Abstract

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is an important forage legume of UK sheep, beef and dairy farming. It fixes atmospheric nitrogen, reducing the need for fertilisers and supplies traceable home grown protein. Red clover is typically used as a silage crop grown for 2- 3 years with three cuts/year, often followed by aftermath grazing, and the economic benefits of its use in terms of animal production are well established. This report details the breeding of new varieties of red clover adapted to UK agriculture. It also outlines the analysis of new traits important in contributing to livestock farming with a reduced environmental footprint, particularly in terms of water quality and climate change mitigation. The development of molecular approaches laying the foundations for precision breeding of this crop, are outlined.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDepartment for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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