Seed World

Grassland Oregon Patents Cold Tolerant Balansa Clover

Grassland Oregon has received a U.S. patent for its FIXatioN Balansa clover, a deep rooting, high nitrogen output clover variety capable of withstanding sub-freezing temperatures at minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit with zero snow cover.

“Most regions in the country experience sub-freezing temperatures. Existing annual clover varieties were limited in the range in which they could be utilized on a consistent basis,” says Jerry Hall, Grassland Oregon director of research. “By improving the cold tolerance, we have extended the range to include most of the USA. In areas where cold tolerance is not an issue, growers still experience greater biomass yields than the traditionally utilized Crimson Clover.”

According to Hall, a decade of research went into developing the cold tolerant Balansa clover, which can produce more than 300 pounds of nitrogen and 5 tons of dry matter in a single growing season due its late maturity.

“FIXatioN is later in maturity. This extends the growing period resulting in larger forage yields and pounds of nitrogen fixed,” says Hall. “The hardy clover has a deep tap root system with roots reaching depths of 36 inches — effectively loosening soil to help with drainage and infiltration better than many other cover crop species.”

According to the company, FIXatioN has proven its diversity to fit a variety of operations across North America, capable of producing more than 20 tons of silage per acre following corn rotations and increasing daily live weight gains on beef grazing systems through its high crude protein content. It is also tolerant of water saturated soils, able to survive brief periods of flooding.