Effect of seed crop management on the potential seed yield of contrasting white clover varieties I: Inflorescence production

A. H. Marshall, P. A. Hollington, D. H. Hides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three contrasting white clover varieties, Olwen (large-leaved), Menna (medium-leaved) and S184 (small-leaved) were sown with and without a grass companion in 30 cm drills. Two grazing and one mechanical spring defoliation managements were imposed. Counts of the total number of inflorescences and of the percentage in various ripeness categories were made throughout the period of seed crop development to determine the pattern of inflorescence development and optimum harvest date. Inflorescence numbers were greatest in cv. S184 and least in cv. Olwen and, in general, varieties produced both more inflorescences and a greater proportion of ripe inflorescences when grown under spring defoliation managements similar to those for which they were bred. Thus, cv. Olwen produced more ripe inflorescences, and a lower proportion of brown inflorescences (semi-ripe), after mechanical defoliation while cv. Menna produced more ripe inflorescences following mechanical defoliation and rotational grazing. However, cv. S184 produced more ripe inflorescences under both grazing managements than under mechanical defoliation. Optimum harvest date was not affected by management or variety, total inflorescence number and maximum ripe inflorescences having reached a peak on 11 September. However, varieties differed in the proportion of ripe and brown (semi-ripe) inflorescences on this date, with cv. Menna and cv. S184 containing a significantly higher proportion of brown inflorescences than cv. Olwen, The implications of these differences in inflorescence development, the proportions of inflorescences in the various ripeness categories and their contribution to seed yield are discussed in relation to the management of white clover seed crops and harvesting method under UK climatic conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
JournalGrass and Forage Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 1989
Externally publishedYes


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