When should I burn off the red clover?

If the clover starts to flower, it must be time to spray it out, right? Not so, says Peter Johnson, cereal specialist with Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. In fact, spraying out clover that early means you miss out on major soil-building benefits through the month of October.

As Johnson explains in this video, because clover is a perennial, flowering doesn’t stop the rooting process at all — the opposite is true. Fall is when the crop starts to move energy to the root system to prepare to overwinter. So when is the right time to take out this cover crop? It depends on whether you’re a no-till or tillage lover. Johnson runs through recommendations for both systems in this video below. (There’s also a lovely edit in this video that’s sure to make you laugh, but you’ll need to watch it right to the end).

For more on using red clover in winter wheat production, click here.

For more on cover crops, click here.

If you cannot see the embedded video, click here.

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