AU Sunrise Crimson Clover is a naturalized cool season annual legume. It has an upright habit with pubescent stems. The leaves are tri-foliate in shape. Vegetation averages up to 20 inches tall at flowering time. It produces cylindrical bloom heads with a deep, red color. This cultivar is an early blooming variety of crimson clover. Several hundred pounds of yellow seed are produced per acre in May – June and can be easily harvested with a conventional combine. AU Sunrise was developed in cooperation with Auburn University. AU Sunrise is comprised of eleven accessions collected from naturalized stands throughout the Southeastern U.S., and bred for early blooming. AU Sunrise blooms 5 to 18 days earlier than AU Robin (earliest blooming crimson clover line on the market) and 12 to 28 days earlier than Tibbee crimson clover. Au Sunrise is well adapted to fertile upland soils of Alabama and Georgia. It should be adapted to the same sites as Tibbee, Dixie, and AuRobin crimson clovers.
Crimson clover is a fast growing annual that provides early spring nitrogen, up to 200 lbs at 50% bloom. Its rapid growth makes it an excellent weed suppressor and an emergency forage supply that doesn’t cause bloat. In the south, crimson clover is fall planted with other cover crops for weed suppression, erosion control and quality spring forage. It can be spring seeded in the northern areas for weed control and nitrogen production. If planted in the spring or summer, it will bloom the same year and will not over-winter.
Crimson clover thrives in cool, moist conditions. It works well on any soil with the exception of heavy, wet clays. Inoculate for best N production. It is usually mixed with annual ryegrass, vetch, radishes, and small grains like oats. Nitrogen production requires an adequate supply of P & K. Crimson clover can be killed by spraying or incorporation. At bloom stage, it can also be killed by mowing, or rolling with a stalk chopper.
For fall planting, drill at 15-18 lbs/A, 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep, or broadcast at 22-30 lbs/A. If broadcast, roll into a firm seedbed. Use 10-15 lbs/A in mixes. For spring planting, seed as soon as all danger of frost is past. Don’t plant too early in the fall if you want it to over-winter. If crimson clover goes to seed in the fall, it will not regrow in the spring.
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