Med Red Clover, more than deer food


Active Member
On the other site that shall remain nameless, I had stared a thread about Med Red Clover. It is the backbone of many of my plots because it is great at adding N in a natural process and it helps to mellow the soil while providing a cover to protect soils from wind and rain. It had been said so many other times before but keeping something growing is great for your soil.

I spring drilled this seed and mowed it once before July 30. I was going to come back in with brassica mix but the weather and time has not cooperated so like any good plan, always have a back-up.

Mowing July 30 after an explosion of Foxtail thanks to repeated rains.


Before anyone gets out of shape on the weedy plot, looking closer we find there is plenty of clover surviving within the tangle of foxtail.

And on 8/25/16 we have this left. Yes there is still some foxtail but looking at the area one sees more clover than foxtail.

On 8/25/16 I sprayed the area with Gly at 1.5 quart / 19 Gallon water / .75 quart crop oil + Surfactant. If you look closely you can see my tracks in the clover fro spraying. I did use my large boom n spraying this teardrop shaped plot and it took all of 10 minutes to spray without anything except a bit of overspray in a few areas.


I still have enough tank mix left to spray my last 1/2 acre plot. But what does the clover look like you ask, well here is a good representation.


Some may be happy with clover looking like this going into deer season but I used the crop for what I needed and plan on no-till drilling some forage oats just as soon as possible since we are getting more rain today. Guess I actually have the day off. Stay tuned to see if the red clover is killed more readily than white clover. I know this med red has banked more free N than any spring planted white clover.
Clovers are like a good boxer. The more you beat them the stronger they come on. Places I spray or run over repeatedly w tractor or truck they grow the best. Good thread.

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I have planted Barduro Red a couple of times. I planted it in a ring around my very first plot on our 80 and then I planted all of the center of the ring in Durana white. The red and the white grew about the same and the Barduro never got taller than the Durana. The reason why is the deer hammer the red clover a lot more than the white clover. I never put out an exclusion cage so I didn't know.

I then planted it in our back yard "rock plot" where there are a lot fewer deer and it now shows it's potential. The clover is between knee and hip height and does amazing. Excellent ground cover and soil builder. Works great with a planting of WR!

51016 clover in rye.JPG
I have come to rely on Med Red clover as a staple in our food plot program as well. Grows easily, is a soil builder and the deer like it.
There is another great factor about medium red clover that I have noticed. It will thrive better and longer in cool season fescue fields than any white clover I have seen anyone plant. I don't recommend planting it in a food plot without killing grass first, but I'm just saying that it competes very well.

I had a steep bank that was in fescue and I was afraid to get my pickup close enough to spray the grass. In that area I just disked the grass hard and sewed the MRC. It's not as strong there as it is where I did kill the grass, but you would be shocked to see how strong it is there.

It seems like this is even more true 2 hours north of where I live. I see fields in that area that just shock me at the persistence of the MRC in grass.

PS: I agree with what others have said in this thread about it having a higher preference with deer than white. That may not be true everywhere, but it is certainly that way on my place. I really think that for me there couldn't be a better food plot than MRC mixed with chicory. Nothing else seems to work so well.
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There are those who add one kind of white clover, or another, to a mix that gets replanted year after year. The tough to kill white clover is why I began using med red. As a kid growing up I saw many deer out feeding in alfalfa mixed with med red clover so the ability to more easily terminate the red and the Reds ability to persist over the winter are two factors influencing the switch. I too have seen deer utilizing the med red variety in droves. The med red clover was a focal point with my LC rotation where I used the med red in place of white clover. Many many pictures of deer feeding in the clover.

I sprayed a small 3/4 acre plot today that had WI clover growing for about 5 years. It looked very thin last fall so the area was tilled (because the drill would not penetrate) and drilled to a mix of small grains and brassica. This spring the plot was tilled again in prep of planting Milo but rains kept me from planting. I mowed the plot a couple weeks ago and when I went in today to spray there is still a decent crop of clover. That my friends is persistence. While I did not take any pictures today, I wish I had but this plot seems to draw snakes so I did not mess around too long. Will check them and post pictures of both here in about a week when the Gly has a chance to take effect.

I too have become a real fan of RC. I still plant a mix of whites/chicory in remote plots I don't want to replant every year.
I like it for deer as well as white clovers - but I like it more than white as a soil builder after corn or even turnips. In my area its a solid two year clover for my purposes - Usually I fall plant - and only mow the next year or two - then turn it under the next for corn.