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The Search for a Winter-Hardy and Economical Forage Solution

August 28, 2014
Jerry Hall
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Forage Solution

No one has forgotten last year’s polar vortex, least of all the farmers and ranchers who weathered it. We couldn’t have predicted the brutally low temperatures that much of the US experienced this past winter, but it was in anticipation of conditions like these that we tried to breed a forage variety that would be hardy and resilient enough to survive them. If one believes the weather predictions for the coming winter, it seems we succeeded just in time.  Our FIXatioN Balansa clover has a rosette growth habit that hugs the ground helping it to withstand below-freezing temperatures. Even after a harsh winter, Balansa clover will aggressively produce forage in the spring, providing a plentiful source of high crude protein for deer (which means bigger racks!) and waterfowl. 

In preparation for the bone-chilling season ahead, we recommend fall seeding FIXatioN by drilling into established pastures.  Under proper management, it can be broadcast as well.  Its small seed size and hardiness enable it to be successfully sown among existing forage. To increase successful establishment we recommend you graze prior to sowing as it opens the canopy and allows sunlight to reach the young plants.

The other benefit of FIXatioN’s small seed size is that while it costs more per pound than ryegrass, the cost per acre is less, which most agree, is the true value farmers and ranchers measure. FIXatioN can be seeded at 5 to 8 lbs. per acre, which is significantly less than other forage seeds. Plus, well-established fields of the Balansa clover are capable of withstanding multiple cuttings/grazings and if properly managed, can reseed for up to three years.

Helping farmers and ranchers weather cold winters and reduce seed costs are two more examples of important advances in seed breeding today. As we continue to develop others, we’d be interested in learning about your growing concerns. Feel free to leave a comment, or drop us a line at