Clover Sickness

On certain of the soils of Great Britain and

probably on those of other countries in Europe, where clover has been

grown quite frequently and for a long period, as good crops cannot be

grown as previously, and in some instances the crop is virtually a

failure. The plants will start from seed in the early spring and grow

with sufficient vigor for a time, after which they will show signs of

wilting and finally they die. Various theories were advanced for a time

as to the cause before it was ascertained by experiment what produced

these results. Some thought they arose from lack of water in the soil,

others claimed that they were due to the presence of parasites, which in

some way preyed upon the roots, others again attributed them to improper

soil conditions. It is now just about certain that they arose from a

deficiency of soluble potash in the subsoil. Such, at least, was the

conclusion reached by Kutzleb as the result of experiments conducted

with a view to ascertain the cause of clover wilt.

The cause being known, the remedy is not difficult. It is to grow clover

less frequently on such soils. Sufficient time must be given to enable

more of the inert potash in the subsoil to become available. Another way

would be to apply potash somewhat freely to these soils, and subsoil

them where this may be necessary.

It is thought that clover sickness is as yet unknown in the United

States and Canada, although its presence had sometimes been suspected in

some sections where clover has been much grown. This does not mean that

it may not yet come to this country. Should the symptoms given above

appear on soils on which clover has been grown frequently and for a long

period, it would be the part of wisdom to take such indications as a

hint to grow clover less frequently in the rotation.

Clover As A Weed Destroyer Clovers As Soil Improvers facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail