Possible Improvement In Clovers

Some close observers have noticed

that there is much lack of uniformity in the plants found growing in an

ordinary field of clover, especially of the medium red and mammoth

varieties. Many of the plants vary in characteristics of stem, leaf,

flower and seed; in the size and vigor of the plants; in the rapidity

with which they grow; and in earliness or lateness in maturing. So great

are these differences that it may be said they run all the way from

almost valueless to high excellence. Here, then, is a wide-open door of

opportunity for improving clover plants through selection. This question

has not been given that attention in the past which its importance


There may be a difference in view as to all the essential features of

improvement that are to be sought for, but there will probably be

agreement with reference to the following in desirable varieties: 1.

They will have the power to grow quickly and continuously under average

conditions. This power will render them valuable as pasture plants in

proportion as they possess it. 2. They will produce many stems not too

coarse in character. This will affect favorably the character of the hay

and will also have a bearing on increase in the production of seed. 3.

There should be an abundance of leaves. Such production will affect

favorably palatability in the pasture and also in the hay. 4. The

blossoms should be so short that the honey which they contain may be

accessible to the ordinary honey bee. The importance of this

characteristic cannot be easily overestimated. It would not only tend to

a great increase in seed production through the favorable influence

which it would have on fertilization, but it would greatly increase the

honey harvest that would be gathered every year, and 5. They should be

possessed of much vigor and hardihood; that is, they should have much

power to grow under adverse conditions, as of drought and cold. The

person who will furnish a variety of red clover possessed of these

characteristics will confer a boon on American agriculture.

Plan Of Discussion Preparing The Soil facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail