How far have we come: 75 years ‘in clover’?
We reflect on what has been a recurring theme in the history of agricultural research in NZ – the understanding that while we grow white clover for its capacity to fix nitrogen, this increase in fertility ultimately passes to benefit the accompanying grass. The association of clover and grass is regarded both as a wonderful harmony upon which our economy depends, but also as a competition between species that too often defeats our efforts to realise clover’s full potential. We review and revisit the nature of the interaction between the species, and we offer some radical approaches looking forward. These include simple pragmatic options for management for immediate gains in performance, and we identify the need for some critical rethinking to fundamentally alter how grass and clover interact.... [Show full abstract]