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Red Clover Varietie

Varieties are classified by ploidy - diploid or tetraploid and flowering date - early or late.

Tetraploid and diploid varieties

Tetraploid varieties are often larger plants with larger leaves and may smother commonly used companion ryegrasses. However, tetraploid varieties tend to be more persistent and disease resistant than diploid varieties; although this may not be true of modern varieties. 

Early and late varieties

Early varieties flower towards the end of May and late varieties 10-14 days later. Early flowering varieties start growth earlier in the spring, giving approximately 40% of annual yield for the first cut with progressively lighter yields in subsequent cuts. Late flowering varieties tend to be more grazing tolerant and persistent than early flowering varieties since they produce more buds from the plant crown.

Recommended list

There are no official red clover evaluation trials in Ireland so red clover varieties are not included in the Recommended List of Grass and Clover Varieties published by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine each year. Therefore, the United Kingdom (UK) Recommended List of Red Clover Varieties should be used when selecting a red clover variety.

Fearga is the first ever Irish bred red clover variety and was the highest yielding variety in the UK in the most recent Recommended List evaluation.

Most recent UK recommended varieties can be found on the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) website