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Lightning Annual Clover

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Lightning (Trifolium resupinatum var. majus) is a soft seeded Persian clover with an erect growth habit. It demonstrates mid season maturity and can provide high levels of early growth compared to other soft seeded Persian clovers. This earlier maturity makes Lightning well suited to areas of medium rainfall. As Persian clover has an indeterminate flowering habit, it can take full advantage of extended seasons, should they occur. Lightning produces a large number of thin walled, hollowed stems, which contribute to the variety being erect and bushy in appearance.

Lightning is well adapted to various soil types and is tolerant of waterlogging and mild soil salinity. It is very palatable and produces a highly digestible feed (16–24% crude protein) that is well suited to hay, grazing or silage production. It can be successfully used in pasture mixes with ryegrass or oats to increase winter productivity. Lightning is an effective disease break in cropping rotations and has the ability to fix high levels of soil nitrogen. Lightning will also assist in the management of problem weeds, including those that are herbicide resistant. When cut for hay or silage, problem weeds will also be removed prior to maturity, giving an opportunity to reduce the weed seed bank.

Key features
• Mid season maturity - about 145 days to flowering
• Vigorous, large leafed, soft seeded annual clover
• Establishes quickly, even when sown late
• Tolerates waterlogging and mild soil salinity
• Suitable for forage, fodder cropping, high density legume (HDL) mixes or annual mixes
• Good companion for forage oats or tetraploid ryegrass

Key benefits
• Lightning offers far greater flexibility than Shaftal in medium maturity areas. Lightning’s early growth out produces Shaftal through the winter, yet it can continue to produce if moisture persists.
• Lightning is highly suitable for use in pasture mixes with ryegrass or oats, this will allow for higher winter productivity.

Variety Management/Agronomy
As Lightning is a soft seeded variety, it will require resowing. It is recommended that Lightning only be used as a one year rotational crop, as problems with rust (Uromyces trifolii-repentis) can become an issue.

Lightning is well suited to hay, silage and grazing. Regrowth after cutting or grazing is excellent and under irrigation two cuts in spring are possible.

Disease resistance / tolerance
Lightning is resistant to clover scorch (Kabatiella caulivora), but is susceptible to attack by rust (Uromyces trifolii-repentis).

Pest resistance
All Persian clovers are susceptible to red legged earth mites (Halotydens destructor) and control measures need to take place prior to seeding or soon after germination.

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