Clovers: Special Considerations
If properly harvested and stored, red clover silage can provide a high-quality forage with fewer risks of damage due to weather. For high-quality silage, field wilt to a moisture content of 60 to 70 percent before ensiling for conventional upright, bunk, pit silos, or round bale silage; field wilt to 40 to 60 percent moisture for sealed upright silos. Making a good, tight pack ensures an oxygen-free environment and depends much on fineness of chop, moisture content, and rate of fill. Silage preservatives, additives, and inoculants may improve silage fermentation in some cases but are not a substitute for proper management.
Red clover usually is more difficult to cure for hay than are other legumes. Organic acid preservatives, when used at recommended rates and properly applied, make it possible to store red clover hay successfully when baled at moistures to 25 percent. In addition, chemical drying agents can improve the drying rate of red clover.