Plantain & Clover Systems

The New & Improved Plantain System

Plantain and clover provides perennial, high quality forage with year round production.
The release of new cultivar Agritonic has made it possible to maximise production from plantain and clover systems with wider weed control options.

Plantain and clover systems:

  • Require optimal grazing management to reach potential animal production
  • Can return improved utilisation and carcass dressing out percentages
  • Can create pastures with lower FEC (faecal egg counts) than ryegrass pastures

Some Benefits of Plantain & Clover Pastures

Lactation Benefits

Set stocking one week prior to lambing provides high quality forage for ewes during lactation.
Lambing hoggets, twin & triplet ewes onto plantain and clover improves lamb weaning weights and ewe liveweights.

Lamb Finishing Power

Plantain is an ideal companion for clover and together they provide high quality feed for finishing lambs through the summer and autumn.
Plantain is not by any means drought tolerant but will be the first thing to bounce back following rain.
As traditional pastures lack feed quality through summer and autumn months, plantain & clover swards maintain quality.
Rotational grazing of lambs produces huge net liveweight production per hectare in comparison to traditional systems

See Professor Peter Kemp’s article on plantain and clover systems

Management

Some key management needed to capitalise on the strength of plantain and clover systems:

  • Grazing management must align with plantain & clovers strengths
  • The sward requires a rest period to build up root reserves
  • If lambing is a priority, a rest period must be observed for up to 6 weeks prior to allow sufficient covers to build.
  • Weeds (including grasses) should be controlled through chemical or mechanical practices
  • Pests such as grass grub and plantain moth can be detrimental and require monitoring throughout the year.

These are just a few of the key facts to consider when planning or building a productive plantain and clover forage system for your farm.
For more detail and to plan for long term success, contact your H&T Forage & Cropping Adviser.