Frontier (Trifolium michelianum) is an annual temperate pasture legume that grows during the autumn, winter and vigorously during spring. Frontier is an early maturing hard seeded Annual Clover that is well suited for medium to low rainfall environments. It demonstrates semi-erect growth when grown in a mixed sward but the plant will remain prostrate if grown as a pure sward or grazed. Leaf size, shape and markings vary significantly with some having strong leaf marks ranging in colour from white to silver, pink or green. Frontier can provide excellent early herbage production in medium rainfall zones. It was selected for its earlier flowering attribute and increased herbage production. Frontier has excellent seed yielding ability that ensures good regeneration and pasture density suited to heavy grazing. It is highly digestible (14-18% crude protein) and can be used on its own or in pasture mixtures that may consist of Persian Clover, Sub-Clover, Grasses or Lucerne. Frontier provides added benefits as a disease break while fixing nitrogen which is available in the soil for subsequent crops.
Frontier is the earliest flowering variety of the Balansa species in Australia. It will flower approximately 20 days earlier than Paradana and 30-35 days earlier than Bolta. This early maturity will make it well suited to major cropping zones.
Frontier is susceptible to Red Legged Earth Mite (Halotydeus destructor) and Lucerne Flea (Sminthurus virdis), particularly during the establishment period and control measures need to be undertaken. In field situations it has been noted that Frontier has good tolerance to Cowpea Aphid (Aphis craccivora), Blue-Green Aphid (Acyrthosiphon kondoi) and Spotted Alfalfa Aphid (Therioaphis trifolii). Moderate aphid damage may occur and control may be required to minimise damage.
- Shows good early vigour
- Offers excellent winter and early spring production
- Adapted to a large range of soil types, especially lighter soils
- Suitable for grazing, fodder, green manure and High Density Legume mixes
- Excellent pioneering plant, especially on acid soil
- Frontier provides an excellent disease break opportunity and a valuable nitrogen source for following crops
- It provides high herbage production with yields of 5-6 tonnes / ha under dryland conditions and 7-8 tonnes / ha under irrigation
Frontier is tolerant of Clover Scorch (Kabatiella caulivora). No other significant diseases have been recorded in Frontier.
Grazing (establishment) -New sown stands can be grazed lightly during the 1st year of establishment. Hay cuts and heavy grazing should be avoided if regeneration is desired. Stock should be removed at the first sign of budding to increase the levels of seed set for regeneration in the following year. As with many legumes, Balansa Clover can cause bloat in livestock but this is not commonly observed.
Regeneration - Due to Frontier’s hard seeded nature, it will demonstrate excellent levels of regeneration. Improved production will be achieved if regenerating pastures are grazed soon after the autumn break. This will help minimise the competition level from weeds as seedlings can be slow to establish. Frontier can be grazed hard from early winter through to flowering.