Antas sub clover has excellent seedling vigour, winter growth and superior spring production.
Antas has the potential to produce enormous amounts of feed. Because it belongs to the brachycalycinum sub species it requires higher pH than the other subterranean clovers. If soil pH is less than 5.8, lime should be applied. Antas leaves are very large and its petioles (leaf stems) are also potentially tall under rotational grazing. These leaf characteristics mean that Antas can be very competitive with grasses compared to shorter sub clover cultivars. This can be turned to advantage by sowing with a low rate of Italian ryegrass e.g. 5kg/ha plus 10 kg/ha Antas sub clover. Such a specialised mixture should provide excellent early lambing feed. Antas can be spelled to set seed from late October and then grazed in December by cattle to spread seed and avoid sheep chewing the seed. Subsequent crops of Italian ryegrass may be sown the following February into regenerating Antas sub clover paddocks. Antas is late flowering and can be sown in mixtures of permanent pasture in autumn. The potential of Antas to grow rapidly in early spring should be controlled by maintaining pasture at no more than 8cm. This is to ensure seed burrs can reach the soil surface during flowering in October/November. This is especially important during the first spring when it is essential to set a large amount of seed. To achieve a large seed set, spell pasture from late October for a minimum of six weeks.
|A good general mixture||Kg/ha|
|Antas sub clover||5|
|Kakariki white clover||2|
|Perennial ryegrass AR1||10|
Livestock production from Sub Clover
Ruminant species when given free range choice will select a diet with 70 % clover and 30 % grass. Pastures with perennial clovers such as white and red rarely have more than 20 % clover in spring. In contrast annual sub clover grows much faster in the cool, moist seasons and well managed sub clover/grass pastures will normally have at least 40% clover on offer in September. Live weight gains of lambs before weaning on such pastures will be proportional to the clover content. Grass dominant pasture is unlikely to give pre-weaning live weight gains of more than 200 grams/day. Singles on 40% sub clover pasture should grow at over 350 grams/day while twins should gain 300 to 330 grams/day.
There are three sub-species within the subterranean clover species:
- The most widely used sub-species is Trifolium subterraneum sub-species subterraneum; cultivars of this sub-species have round black seeds and tolerate acid soils down to about pH 5.4. Examples are Campeda, Woogenellup, Denmark and Rosabrook.
- T. subterraneum sub-species yanninicum has whitecoloured seeds and is more tolerant of wet soils than the other two sub species. Examples are Monti and Napier.
- T. subterraneum sub-species brachycalycinum has flattened black seeds and is adapted to soils with a pH above 5.7. Its flowers are small and the peduncles (flower stems) do not actively bury burrs. Instead the long twisting peduncles enable it to bury seeds under clods, stones and cracks in the soil. Antas is the only cultivar available from this high yielding sub species.
Suggestions for exploiting the unique characteristics of Antas
- Early lambing prior to weaning onto lucerne
- Sown in permanent pasture mixtures up to 10 kg/ha
- Sow 10kg Antas plus 5kg Italian as a special purpose mixture
- Allow Antas to grow tall, make seed rich hay (but not in establishment year) and feed out to cattle