Early research on adding legumes to E+ KY-31 tall fescue showed that dairy cows were able to maintain greater persistency of milk production when grazing fescue-clover pastures than cows consuming E+ tall fescue without clover (Seath et al., 1954). Presence of legumes in pastures grazed by cow-calf pairs prevented the usual decline in milk production associated with grazing E+ tall fescue (Ashley et al., 1987). Management is critical to the establishment of legumes and maintenance of desired legume stand density (Fribourg et al., 1991). The addition of legumes [white clover (Trifolium repens L.), red clover (T. pratense L.), annual lespedezas [Kummerowia stipulacea (Maxim.) Makino or K. striata (Thunb.) Schindl.], or alfalfa (Medicago spp.)] has improved animal performance consistently in E- and E+ tall fescue pasture systems. Their presence improved animal performance by 25 to 50% (Lomas et al., 1999; Hoveland et al., 1999; Fontenot et al., 2001). Persistence of legumes within a tall fescue pasture has been a long standing problem with E+ KY-31 tall fescue. However, Bouton et al. (2003) have reported on the development of ‘Durana' white clover, a cultivar promising to persist under southern United States conditions.


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